The crumbling, concrete bridge across the pond in the Parc de Bercy was closed off with hazard tape for at least a year. Now it has been replaced with a beautiful new, gently arched bridge made from reclaimed timber, a fitting approach to the offices of the Agence Parisienne du Climat, now based in the Pavillon du Lac.
The ‘wave borders’, billowing with flowers across the lawn behind the Maison de Jardinage, are impressive too, though marred by the ‘no access’ notices dangling across each grassy pathway through the display. Elsewhere the park looks tired and in need of restoration, particularly in areas such as the rose garden and the vineyard which demand regular maintenance.
This important, well-used park in the 12th arrondissement was developed on land reclaimed from a vast complex of nineteenth century wine warehouses. The bold design of the park, opened in 1997, conserved and displayed features of the former industrial landscape, including railway tracks, cobbled lanes and various buildings. The design included traditional garden elements in a bold, contemporary framework. Some parts have matured well but others are showing their age and lack of maintenance. A heavily used park needs continual renewal. For now it looks as though regeneration is taking over from deterioration in the Parc de Bercy, but there’s still work to be done.