Herzog & de Meuron

SION, SWITZERLAND, 12 December 2019 – Herzog & de Meuron in collaboration with Michel Desvigne Paysagiste have been announced as the winners of the international urban design competition for a new master plan for Ronquoz 21, in Sion, Switzerland. The competition was organized by the Ville de Sion to find a gradual long-term vision for a 60ha transformation area.

With the project proposal, theses from Die Schweiz. Ein städtebauliches Portrait (2006) and achtung: die Landschaft (2015) of ETH Studio Basel are subjected to a practical test. The Bandstadt Wallis (“ribbon city”) is to grow where land is already developed, instead of extending the settlement area further into the landscape. The guideline is: Build on the built.

Despite, or rather because of the densification, the vision simultaneously brings nature back to Ronquoz. While the new neighbourhoods are concentrated along the motorway and railway tracks, space opens up in between for a chaîne de parcs, which is connected by a meandering, densely planted path – the cordon boisé. This overarching landscaping idea puts physical and social cohesion at the centre.

The transformation will happen step by step and follows a set of rules for open spaces and buildings without a priori having to follow a predefined geometry. Every part of the development is in and of itself a coherent extension of the city, always combining the newly built with new open spaces.

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