Office

Design philosophy

Since 2005, OLM has been carrying out studies and assignments to manage public and landscape spaces in France and abroad. After fifteen years of experience, and at a time when many construction sites are starting for the next five years, OLM asserts its transversal position as a landscaper & urban planner that allows it to build and articulate spaces in the light of 4 principles that meet each other: construction by land and water, construction by time and use, construction by ladders and courses, and construction by courses and environments. 

The OLM agency brings together landscape designers, geographers, as well as architects, urban planners, designers and graphic designers who allow to cross knowledge and experiences to articulate both a strategy of territory and the implementation of public space in time.

The 4 principles

The principle of construction by soil and water:

Whether in urban, peri-urban or rural areas, we work with natural elements: water, vegetation, soil and its different strata. The culture of OLM is to be very interested in levelling and micro-topography as a soil architecture that determines how to build, walk, plant and drain rainwater.

The work of levelling is conceived as the concrete interface between the top and the bottom, by folds, breaks, flattens. While referring to the question of geographical territory by level curves, levelling allows the project to "land". The topography is more than a smooth surface and should rather be viewed through all the energies that continually transform it. It's a production surface "with tectonic power. These energies can be runoff or groundwater, wind turbulence, soil chemistry or slope direction. These flows offer a wide range of design possibilities if they are thought together in their prospective capacity. Frédéric Nantois talks about the difference of going from a "territorial geography of flow, from a stable object to an unstable process". The objective is to bring about the fusion of these dynamics to constiture the space project.

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The principle of construction by time and uses:

The tillage of the soil and natural elements gives a very special value to the time in the project: where one necessarily works by phases in the urban project, the landscape extends this data by taking it infinitely beyond the limits of the time of urbanization. Much more than designing a landscape delivered at a given time, we must give it the foundation of conditions that will allow it to develop. This also applies to the attention paid to uses on public space: thinking through uses implies not to «overload» space through programming, but rather to give everyone the means to flourish and evolve in public space short, medium and long term. 

 

But also, and even before the project takes place, the prefiguration, the «zero landscape» (Michel Desvigne) can begin to transform the gaze on a place. In the search for a measured intervention on the landscape, we systematically try to change in advance the views on the place to transform its uses, before seeking to modify its structure. 

However, to reveal is not to project, and we think that we should not fall into the reverse excess by operating only partially on certain landscapes: depending on the stakes, It is important to study the impact of the intervention on a case-by-case basis, looking at the historical trajectory of the site and its future planning. 

“I firmly believe, I admit, that the value of history depends on what it teaches us about the future.” Jackson, J.B. (2003), A la découverte du paysage vernaculaire, Arles: Actes Sud (1st ed. In the United States in 1984) (p. 42)

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The principle of construction by scales and paths:

Whatever its scale, the site, the plot, the urban entity, is necessarily the starting point and landing point of the project. We find a special attachment to projects that allow us to transcend scales: where a small-scale site allows us to “see far” and “do great”, or, on the contrary, when we think about the habitability of places and infrastructures that have not been designed for domestic scale. 

The routes, whether they are linked to the passage of wildlife in a bio-corridor, to cyclists in a cycling plane, or to the pendulous flows of a road infrastructure, are the objects and means of links (or breaks) between local and territorial scales. 

This work of links and places, begun with David Mangin on the former airport of St-Exupéry in Toulouse Montaudran has led us to consider the routes as links but also places around which spaces are organized. At the urban scale, we question the principle of construction based as much on the design of places connected by paths as on the design of flows that organize spaces between them.

Photo 3

The principle of construction by lines and environments:

By having the ability to cross the scale of territorial evolution with that of the implementation of the detail, it is always necessary to keep in mind that the project is a device at the crossroads of the scales, an environment that concentrates and generates all the elements that will allow each one, from the insect to the inhabitant through the drop of water, to find its place in the public space.  

This notion of environment complements the approach to the broad outlines by bringing the question of uses: where structure and weft allow us to prioritize and organize, the creation of an ecological environment introduces the notions of resilience, temporalities, density variations and flexibility. It is a matter of meeting geometry and geography. 

 

The landscape project must be read in the various planted devices that reflect the construction of links and/or places. More precisely, the idea is to inform the identity of each space by a specific plant structure: grove, alignment, hedge, isolated tree, but also more horizontally: meadow, shrubs, lawns that reflect continuities, an extent and a relationship to the sky. The program, the site, the economy of the project require each time to «reinvent» these plant associations in order to think the short time and the long time and to adapt them to the uses and the modes of management.  But for what purpose? to create a feeling of landscape, that is, to give the user both the keys to reading a place by a careful observation of the elements that constitute the open space and at the same time that of belonging to a wider territory that becomes an experience charged with an emotional intensity. 

 

 “In other words, because of the passage of time, landscape decontextualizes its artifactuality and takes on the appearance of something natural.” 

Corner, J. (1999) Recovering Landscape, New York: Princeton Architectural Press (p. 157)

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The objective

We observe that the concept of urbanism is often stated as an urban form in which the public space is conceived either as an autonomous piece of architecture, or as the result of the unrolling of a road gauge that gives benchmarks but that standardizes the places. 

Where the theories of architecture and urbanism are numerous and help in the reading of their History, and in the understanding of the forms and places they generate, there are only a few writings that synthesize the approach of the great designers of the landscape and their project philosophy. However, we seek to situate ourselves through certain research, in order to continue the experience of the landscape as a means of anticipating and accompanying «urbanization», the desire to inhabit the land, to conceive the habitable space, to inscribe the project in a narrative (historical and/or geographical) while trying to anticipate climate change on our lifestyles. 

 “In other words, because of the passage of time, landscape decontextualizes its artifactuality and takes on the appearance of something natural.”  

 

Corner, J. (1999) Recovering Landscape, New york : Princeton Architectural Press (p.157)

The team

Cultures and know-how that make it possible to carry out studies and missions of prime contractor

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Philippe Coignet

Founder, landscape architect
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Guillaume Boehm

Landscape architect
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Camille Dandelot

Public spaces designer
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Ahyoung Gu

Landscape architect
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Alice Hallynck

Architect and city planner
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Camille Keraudren

Landscape architect
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Agnès Languedoc

Assistant
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Emmanuelle Lévêque

Architect and city planner
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Rocco Marafatto

Landscape architect
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Christelle Monnier

Landscape architect and geographer
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Elise Triacca

Architect and city planner
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Silvia Zagheno

Landscape architect

Our clients

Grand Paris

PUBLIC
Communauté d'Agglomération de Plaine Commune
Communauté d'Agglomération de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
Conseil Général de Seine-Saint-Denis
Conseil Régional d'Ile-de-France
Cop HLM Boucle de Seine
Grand Paris Aménagement pour la Communauté de Communes du Provinois
Emerige
EPADESA
EPAMarne
EPA ORSA
EPA Paris Saclay
Etablissement Public Campus Condorcet
Grand Paris Seine Ouest
Logirep
Paris Habitat
SEM 92
Solideo
Ville d'Ermont
Ville de Meudon
Ville de Paris
Ville de Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon

 

PRIVATE
Aéroports de Paris
Axeparisud
Elogie
Fondation Imagine
ICF Habitat La Sablière
In'li
Legendre Immobilier
Quartus Résidentiel

France

PUBLIC
Alter Public
Bayeux Intercom
Collectivité Territoriale de Corse
Conseil Général de Guyane
Communauté Urbaine du Grand Toulouse
Commune de Cherbourg-en-Cotentin
EPA Bordeaux Euratlantique
Grand Poitiers Communauté Urbaine
Grand Reims Communauté Urbaine
OPPIDEA
Partenord Habitat
Société d'Aménagement de l'Aggolomération de Montpellier
Société d'Equipement de la Touraine
Ville d'Angers
Ville de Bayeux
Ville de Caulnes
Ville de Lisieux
Ville de Rennes
Ville de Saint-Priest

PRIVATE
Altarea Cogedim
BNP Paribas Immobilier Résidentiel
Bouygues Construction
Hines
Icade
LinkCity
Nexity
Vinci Immobilier

International

PUBLIC

  • ADT ATO Bruxelles (Belgique)
    Fonds d'Urbanisation et d'Aménagement du Plateau du Kirchberg (Luxembourg)
    Ministère Grec de l'Environnement (Grèce)
    Ville de Bruxelles (Belgique)
    Ville de Lausanne (Suisse)
    Ville de Steinsel (Luxembourg)
    Ville de Toronto (Canada)

Press

2016

Airport Landscape (en)

Airport Landscape (en)

Helenikon - Grèce