Client: Direction du Patrimoine et de l’Architecture / Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel
Architect: VOGT Landscape Architects
Oui oui, Paris! The city of love and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. With close to seven million visitors a year, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited attractions in the world. The recent terror attacks in Paris called for a rethink of the site’s security and the fencing off of its surroundings. This new security paradigm became an opportunity to rediscover the gardens that once lay beneath the monument. The two avenues alongside the tower were designed by Vogt Landscape Architects together with TreeBuilders, to give the existing trees a better growth opportunity. For this reason, our TreeParker system was chosen to provide an extra volume of uncompacted soil for the existing trees around this breath-taking world heritage.
The left “allee” covers the project’s first stage. At the beginning and end of these avenues TreeParker will provide uncompacted soil volume for more room to grow after years of stunted growth.
The trampled gardens of the Eiffel Tower
Vogt Landscape Architects have been selected to redesign the Eiffel Tower public gardens as part of the security upgrade project. The gardens existed years before the Eiffel Tower was built. Over time, they changed in layout and composition, so much so that they began to lose their legibility and significance and were gradually forgotten. From the beginning of the twentieth century, further transformations and the multiplication of built elements began to break up the gardens’ rhythm and symmetries. Fragmented and incremental planting gradually obstructed the historical sight axis, and over the years the composition of vegetation became less legible. By 2016, when the city of Paris called for new security measures for the site, the gardens appeared exhausted and trampled.
The trees also suffered greatly under the ever-increasing numbers of visitors and Parisians alike. They became stunted because of a continuously increasing layer of gravel that was added to each year. As a result, the subsoil became so compact that it stunted the trees’ growth. The need to fence off the site and shift its points of access for security reasons became an opportunity to improve the growth site of these trees as well.
Giving the trees back their blossom
At the entrances and exits we provided the trees with a growth volume of 150 m3 within our TreeParker system. We used units with a height of 80 cm to create this volume. To guide the tree roots underground we used Root Directing Panels to lead them into the TreeParker unit. In this way trees can start growing again being given the environment to continue growing for a long time; a TreeParker unit topped with an aggregate base course layer of 40 cm and a 15 cm layer of concrete. The trees become part of the new concrete path which will be poured along the entire length on both sides of the monument.
Work started off in January with the installation of the units on the left side of the tower. It proved a simple installation without encountering any cables or pipes.
The second phase will be delivered in March and we, from TreeBuilders, will be present to make sure that this part of the construction will be properly managed as well.
The project was managed in collaboration with our French distributor JardiProtec. The project is financed by the Board of the Eiffel Tower itself. Thanks to the excellent interaction between the Eiffel Tower Board and TreeBuilders, we were able to realise this beautiful project. We are honoured to be such an important link in such a beautiful project and can’t wait for all the stunning images these big, mature trees will yield in the future!