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Eden: Beyond Euralille Surfaces

Underground parking


AUTHORS: Alberto Roncelli, Nicole Vettore
PLACE: Lille, France
YEAR: 2022
STATUS: Unbuilt
INSTAGRAM [1]: @_blatero


“Beyond Euralille Surfaces” rethinks the role of underground parking as places to support new needs for mobility, logistics, human cohesion and resilience. The project explores this possibility in Jean Nouvel-155,000 m²-Euralille where a 20 meters wide cut is proposed as main element to bring natural light and fresh air to the underground levels. A continuous landscape unfolds from the cut and connects the building with the adjacent natural systems.


Eden explores the future of underground parking in terms of “groundscape” – a concept introduced by Dominique Perrault where underground spaces are conceived as great opportunities for the development of the urban realm. In particular, “underground parking spaces are often underused, strategically located and represent important reserves of surface area, volume and land, whose potential appears immense”.

Here this concept is investigated on Euralille (Lille, France), a 155.000 sqm multi-functional building that includes a shopping centre, five towers, one hotel and housing block and 40.000 sqm of underground parking on two levels.

The project envisions Euralille as a fundamental place for Lille 21st century life, supporting the new needs for mobility, logistics, human cohesion and resilience. In this vision, it becomes a valuable spatial resource able to accommodate a wide variety of spatial settings.

The main gesture of the project is a 20 metres wide cut that opens up the building, reaches the two underground parking floors and creates the conditions for introducing natural air and daylight. The cut extends the urban life of Place François Mitterand inside Euralille offering more than 6000 sqm of public realm through a rich landscape with south-facing seating, spaces for gatherings, paths and pocket gardens. A strong visual connection is created with the Beffroi de Lille and a new rooftop overlooks the old city and is the culmination of the journey from the underground.

The former underground parking spaces positioned along the cut, are now bright double-height coworking spaces and retails. Secondary rooms transcend the scale of the building and use their groundscape uniqueness to become containers for creative activities, exhibitions and event. The rest of the carpark evolves its spaces to offer flexible layouts for new activities and needs, not only related to future mobility but also for deliveries, storage and potential no-human industries.

In conclusion, this project is intended to suggest a possible approach to the issue of underground parking and we think that partially returning them to the city is a great step towards restoring their value.


Alberto and Nicole are two young italian architects based in Copenhagen. They both work in danish international offices – Alberto at GXN, the research and innovation department of 3XN – Nicole at Henning Larsen Architects. In parallel, they conduct personal researches and projects with a focus on upcoming challenges and opportunities in the urban environment.


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