The third pilot site L'Argentière-la-Bessée is the industry area in the French Alps. The construction of hydroelectric plant in the last century attracted large factories along the low land of Durance river. With the end of industrial golden age (1950-1970), the Pechney area became shattered and disordered gradually and lost its status as main economic driving force. The village with industrial complex tries to find the solution through Alps tourism, beautiful nature, and Durance river. It is strongly believed that the Pechney site could become the booster of economy again through the strong cooperation among several actors. Here are presented two of four TUM students’ transformation scenarios. 

Scenario 1: EAGLES, BOLTS & BRICKS (TUM / Tanja Mauer, Minghui Chen)
Scenario provides three development phases:

Phase 1 (3 – 5 years) – integration of social activities, transformation of industrial structures.
Phase 2 (10 – 15 years) – inflow of natural environment, sharing space for public and industry.
Phase 3 (20 years) – transformation of former industrial area, rearrangement of existing companies.

Transformation of the area will be divided into:

  1. Central part with the following content: Structure garden, Historical corridor, Social centre, Music school, Workshop, Carpenter school, Exhibition halls, Storage, Library, Caffe and Tourist centre and
  2. Surroundings with following content: Industrial lot, Power plant, Construction industry, Machinery engineering, Carpenter, Automotive industry.

Scenario 2: Land in SHAPE Transformation of Alps Industrial Site into Regional Service Centre (TUM / Qisu Li, Xiaoxiao Liu)

The new design proposes a complex of a human-friendly industry campus and vivid community centre on site, shaping the site and surrounding valley as continuous landscape entity. We wish to arouse inner proud and sense of belonging in people’s heart by providing pleasant environment shopping, leisure and cultural facilities for the introduced industry and people of L'Argentière-la-Bessée.

Phase I
Geological movements create wrinkled mountains. Glaciers and rivers sculptured the durance valley. People settled down to the junction of two rivers and cultivated virgin land on lower slopes. Seasonal floods make it difficult to work on riverside lowlands, so it appeared as natural gentle slopes.

Phase II
Thanks to the flood wall and the hydroelectric plant, industrial activities occupy the lowlands of the river. Massive buildings are like a boulder stuck between mountains and the Durance.

Phase III
Traditional industries declined in the alpine area. Upgraded new industry no longer requires large production space. Flexible architectural form offers possibility to reshape land. Obvious boundaries exist no longer between new buildings and landscape.