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Les églises botaniques de France

#apprenticeship #design innovation management #events

// Marguerite de Chatelperron

Find new usages for abandoned churches

To take a break away from the city rumour

A theme for each church with matching plants

Presentation video of Marguerite de Chatelperron’s project:

Les églises botaniques de France offers a solution to two distinct problems: the preservation of the architectural heritage of abandoned churches and the creation of free and public sheltered areas in parks. The idea is to develop a network of refurbished churches, each with a specific theme and corresponding plants. Inside the botanical churches, visitors can find a picnic area, a meditation area, a group area and a relaxation area.

For her starting point, Marguerite took a very dreamlike image of an abandoned church overtaken by nature. This inspiration led her to ask many questions as a spatial designer about built and abandoned heritage. Why is it that these buildings with undeniable architectural qualities are no longer able to meet the needs of city dwellers? What services could these places provide to give them back a role at the heart of city life? As a designer, what new uses can be found for these buildings? Based on a precise case study and following many meetings with residents, Marguerite was able to identify new needs: breathing, taking a break, having some peace and quiet in a bustling city with hectic days and tight schedules. This proposal of sheltered gardens, like an extension of botanical gardens, corresponds perfectly to the current needs of city-dwellers. Thanks to her network of stakeholders, she managed to come up with a persuasive proposal for reconverting this abandoned church.”

Marion Moussu
Design Management and Innovation in apprenticeship program Course Leader


After doing an advanced diploma in spatial design at LISAA in Nantes, Marguerite took a sabbatical year to work in Paris then in Bangladesh before joining L’École de design in the 3rd year BDes International Class specializing in Global Design. She then went on to do the Design Management and innovation MDes program and did her apprenticeship at AIA, an engineering and architecture firm in Nantes. She learnt a lot about interprofessional collaboration and she will be able to develop this expertise in Shanghai where AIA have offered her a job. Drawn by the beauty of materials, Marguerite is inspired by Katty Schiebeck, a designer who works with noble raw materials respecting the rules of minimalism.

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