Le Nichoir

Commissioned by
  • Empreinte landscape agency
  • Cochenko

This urban furniture was developed through a project owner assistance tender – issued by Saprophytes for Empreinte, a landscape architecture firm – to create an open kitchen in a community garden. Issuing a call for tenders to build urban furniture as part of a participatory initiative – a project open to the public – was unprecedented.

Cochenko submitted the winning bid: urban furniture delivered in a kit, ready to assemble with the local community but different from the standard catalogue, as it was designed by the firm. A fab lab in eastern Paris cut the parts and the furniture was assembled with special-needs teachers, residents and neighbourhood users. The structural works were carried out by a social enterprise for employment reintegration, and the rest was done as part of the community workshop. New insurance provisions were required, as amateurs were taking part in the construction. The furniture is designed to be both generous – to help build connections between people – and economical, to produce the least offcut possible. The benches are cut from the table, the stools are cut from the benches, and the nesting boxes for the park are cut from the trusses of the pavilion. 

The project serves as a trial for similar public tenders and paves the way for various possibilities in participatory urban development. The construction was carried out over five weeks between July and November 2014, interspersed with festive interludes. 

Non recherche-action plateforme socialdesign
Cadre budgétaire
  • 45 000 €
Project duration
  • 2014
  • from july to november 2014
  • La Courneuve, France
  • Plaine Commune (MOA)