© Thierry Chenu / City of Grenoble

Bastille, base camp

It is at the Bastille, a highly symbolic location, that Green Grenoble has chosen to set up its base camp. Loved by citizens, the Bastille is a popular tourist attraction all year round. It is also the gateway to the Chartreuse mountain range: this is an area that requires attention and care, being under threat from climate change and the repository of our rich Alpine DNA.

A symbolic location

The Bastille is a military fortress completed in the 14th century, which overlooks the city of Grenoble and its surrounding valley from atop of the last buttresses of the Chartreuse range.

Famous for its “bubbles”, a cable car linking it to the city centre, the Bastille is listed as a Historic Monument thanks to its military features unique in France. It is much loved by citizens who have climbed, visited, descended or simply enjoyed looking at it.

The Bastille has been selected as base camp at the heart of the Green Capital not only for its many cultural and heritage attractions but also for its biological and natural features and its proximity to the city.

Already a legacy

Green Grenoble’s plan is to ensure the long-term valorisation of the Bastille site. The beauty of the site is matched by its fragility. Exposed to natural risks and difficult to access, it is also increasingly often subject to drought. It is a mountain rich in heritage, but which now needs restoring.

Through a partnership-based approach, the State, the Region, the Department, the Metropole, the Chartreuse Regional Natural Park and the municipalities of Grenoble, Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux and La Tronche together aim to implement a far-reaching project to restore this “green lung”. This project includes, in particular, the creation of “green volunteering” areas, festivals on the banks of the nearby Isère river and various sustainable initiatives in keeping with the site.

An architectural and urban planning challenge

The Cité du Rabot, currently housing 500 students rooms managed by the CROUS, will close its doors as a hall of residence in 2024. Green Grenoble represents a perfect opportunity to test new uses and rediscover this site.

The Maison de l’Architecture will launch a national call for projects in order to focus reflection on the project and propose avenues for future use of the site. In December 2021, the team will be chosen and will take up residency at the site from spring 2022 until September. In the meantime, it will propose a number of events and exchanges. The Cité Rabot is therefore set to become an artistic and scientific laboratory open to all.

Nature and mountain experience on the Glacis

Grenoble City Council and the “Mission Montagne” team will set up a bivouac at the Bastille, on its glacis, from April to October 2022. Goal: facilitate access for all to an introductory experience of the mountain environment, to better understand the rich heritage and fragility of the Bastille and turn this symbolic site into an educational tool to promote the environment and biodiversity.

Temporary installations, a mountain hut, a food area, awareness-raising actions: Inhabitants and tourists alike will be able to enjoy an original “night in the Alps” experience under the stars in partnership with the Régie du Téléphérique (the cable car operator), the Chartreuse Regional Natural Park and ENSAG, the Grenoble school of architecture.

EUROPAN competition

The site of the Bastille and in particular its middle terrace has been selected for the 16th edition of the Europan competition. Designed to reward young teams of architects and town planners, the theme of this year’s edition of this biennial competition is “living cities”. The results of the Europan competition will be announced over the course of 2022 as part of the Grenoble Green Capital !