Manufacture Poilâne

Bièvres (France)


The Challenge

Poilâne is internationally renowned for its bread produced with pride of tradition and craftsmanship, using only natural ingredients. Some thirty years ago, Lionel Poilâne, willing to develop his family business internationally, built next to Paris with his spouse Ibu, artist, designer and architect, a manufactory. The site is superb, surrounded by woodlands. The beautiful circular architecture of the building, that reflects the production process, is subtlety placed in this clearing. Concerned about their employees’ well being, they imagine also a first garden. They use backfills from the construction to create a swiping landscape and plant a collection of trees, including numerous rare oaks, which have since grown majestically.

The Solution

Starting in 2015, Apollonia Poilâne, who took over the management of the family business, commissions Lionel to revisit this garden. Amazed by the beauty of the site, Lionel considers his intervention only in with upmost respect of the existing, a slow process of selection and highlighting, with the juxtaposition of a new program. The project goes far beyond the only aim of beautifying: the garden must reflect Poilâne’s values and key initiatives, contribute to the employees’ and visitors’ well being as well as serve as ground for experiments. Lionel imagines an ideal country landscape at the scale of the park, with a village piazza, cut-flowers garden, tapestry hedges, wheat field, orchards and woodlands, placed progressively in the direction of wider landscape. To ensure the long-term success of the project, the project execution will be spread over a period of ten years and Lionel will also advise on the sustainable maintenance of the site.