Archive / ECObox

Nr. 066 / 2001 - 2006 / France


A community garden to critically think about the use of space


Atelier d'Architecture Autogérée (AAA)


Initially conceived as a community temporary garden to encourage residents to critically think about misused and underused space, the project became the ground for participatory urban experimentations in the La Chappelle area of northern Paris. The initiators together with the residents started establishing a garden using recycled materials and they fostered a flexible use of the space in order to preserve a so-called 'urban biodiversity'. They invited different external collaborators to organise workshops and other activities, which provided the garden with a series of modules of mobile furniture such as an urban kitchen, a play station, a media lab, a library, a rainwater collector and a joinery mini-workshop.




To encourage residents to get access to and critically transform temporary misused or underused spaces.

Beneficial outcomes

Offering the inhabitants the chance to occupy an abandoned space and transform it into a participatory garden and a place for debate.

Maintained by

Atelier d'Architecture Autogérée (AAA)


AAA functions as a collaborative network with variable geometry, which organizes itself according to different topics, contexts of intervention, competencies and availability of participants. AAA: Constantin Petcou, Doina Petrescu, Denis Favret, Giovanni Piovene, John Sampson, Giada Mangiameli, John Roberts collaborators : Béatrice Rettig, Jean-Baptiste Bayle, Bordercartograph (Marion Baruch, Miriam Rambach , Arben Iljazi), School of Architecture/University of Sheffield, Antoine Quenardel and inhabitants of La Chapelle area including Fabienne Molinier, Catherine Sachet, Richard Laquitaine, Michèle Chevillon, Phillipe Serret, Abdulaye Sy and many more.