Seguin Island, Showplace of Western Paris regional culture
SEGUIN ISLAND , ITS HISTORY
L’Île Seguin or Seguin Island – a natural island in the Seine, like those of Île de la Cité and Île Saint Louis in Paris - has a 20th century legacy largely shaped by automaker Renault’s industrial influence (former factories in Boulogne- Billancourt) which permanently left the area in 1992. Seguin Island, however, still has its place in the history of Paris, dating back to the Middle Ages.
In fact, starting from the mid-12th century, it belongs to the Saint-Victor Abbey, which developed a business of cutting willows and wicker, which grow in abundance. In the 17th century, a new route is built linking the capital to Versailles. In 1684, a bridge is built, which crosses Seguin Island, allowing the royal procession to travel faster between the court and the city.
In the 18th century, the "industrial" period begins when for a short time the island hosted a laundry service for Parisian hospitals. Abandoned during the Revolutionary period, it has the legal status of a national asset and serves as a depot for sick horses.
Seguin Island’s name comes from the personality of Armand Seguin (1767-1835), tannery chemist and entrepreneur. By 1801, his business employs 400 leather workers on the island, working the material in all its forms.
Though industrial and devoid of urbanization, Seguin Island is a favorite motif for artists throughout the 19th century; they capture the Seine’s changing reflections, its shores wooded and wild, light playing off the water. Paul Huet, Corot, Sisley, Jongkind, and Bracquemond Turner, among others, transcribe the magical moments of a nature peaceful and in transition. The presence of artists foreshadows the island’s adoption by city-dwellers seeking a break who come to relax in this rustic setting to enjoy pastime leisures combining swimming, rowing with renoiresque picnics on the grass.
Sold by plots in the early 20th century, the island serves as a location for various technical experiments: hydrofoil tests, gliders and seaplanes.
Founded in 1899, the Renault Frères Company develops at the speed of an escapist’s dream, which foreshadows the coming of the automobile. Billancourt’s first factories fail to measure up to Louis Renault’s demands and ambitions who in 1919 sets off in the conquest of Seguin Island, to build a "factory showcase." River bank consolidation, raising the island’s level, building first one bridge and then a second, altering the ground on which the plants are built, setting up the latest equipment and generalizing the assembly line. Dismantled in 1974, the Renault factories will permanently close their doors in 1992 with a final farewell drive-by - and it was a memorable image – of the last car built on the site.
(Sources: http://www.r4-ileseguin.com )
THE ISLAND AND ITS MANY FACETS
The Pavilion on Seguin Island
Designed in partnership with ATRIS, AMETIS AND SHGR associations, the Pavilion on the Seguin Island is an exhibition space open to the public, dedicated to the past, the present and the future of this exceptional site that is the Seguin Island.
On 300 square meters, it presents a wide chronological fresco describing all the stages of the island’s evolution from the Middle Ages through to 2018.
Click on the image to access our page dedicated to the Pavilion on Île Seguin
Garden on Seguin Island
Sprawling over 2 hectares, this garden contains an extraordinary secret: its drawings are based on old Renault factory layouts. Designed by landscape architect Michel Desvigne *, we walk in the gardens of a thousand species (including willows) gradually discovering and against all expectations that it is the island’s reminder of its industrial past.
*Winner of the 1986 competition of the Academy of France in Rome at the Villa Medici, Michel Desvigne is one of the world’s most famous landscape architects.
Click ICI to access our page dedicated to the garden of Seguin Island.
How to get there
District 3 - Billancourt - Banks of the Seine
- Pedestrians and cyclists: from the Renault Bridge from Boulogne -Billancourt and Seibert Bridge from Meudon
- M9: Metro station Pont de Sèvres or Billancourt
- T2: station Brimborion
- Bus: 160, 169, 171, 179, 279, 291, 389, 467, 26 Pont de Sèvres station
- For general information, please contact
SAEM VAL DE SEINE AMÉNAGEMENT
696, rue Yves KERMEN
T +33(0)1 46 08 83 83
F +33(0)1 46 08 83 99
For all information regarding the R4: Email adress
THE SEGUIN ISLAND OF TOMORROW, WE’RE OFF !
The Seine Musicale
A unique facility in Europe
The construction of the Seine Musicale is one of the flagship projects of the Hauts-de -Seine Valley of the Culture. This complex is a unique project in France and Europe. Its cultural significance is intended reach far beyond the Hauts-de-Seine establishing a national and international reputation. "The City of Music will be the gateway to the Valley of Culture", said Patrick Devedjian, MP and Chairman of the General Council of Hauts-de -Seine.
The Seine Musicale will be located at a point downstream of Seguin Island on a 2.35 hectare single tenant plot of land with the General Council as the owner. The whole program development covers nearly 280 meters along the Seine. Its morphology is involved in defining the general shape of the island and its position at the forefront gives it an iconic status. The Seine Musicale’s requirements assessment helped define a program of 36,500 m2.
For more information, visit: http://cite-musicale-ile-seguin.hauts-de-seine.net/