Golf Course Architecture - Issue 59, January 2020

68 H andling over 70 million passengers a year, Paris-Charles de Gaulle is Europe’s second- busiest airport. The infrastructure surrounding such an operation is overwhelming; the mass of roads, rail networks, freight operations, offices and hotels can be suffocating. But in the central square of the small, leafy commune of Roissy- en-France, where locals sit outside a café, sipping coffee and browsing newspapers, it is hard to believe that it’s all so close. There are of course a few clues: the flight path might not be directly overhead, but the whir of jet engines still punctuates the silence every minute or so. And one of the main streets is lined with rather more international hotels than is normal for an otherwise completely traditional French village. As you travel away from Roissy’s centre, you are quickly reminded of your proximity to the main transportation hub of one of the globe’s major metropoles. The streets are lined with giant warehouses and the corporate headquarters of some of the world’s major brands. While this sprawling development plays a crucial role in French life, and the economy, officials of Roissy recognised the need to preserve the valuable remaining green space; to allow wildlife to thrive, give locals the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and provide a detention area to protect local communities from flooding. ON S I TE Officials at the small commune of Roissy-en-France in Paris asked Michel Niedbala to design a golf course that would preserve green space alongside the city’s airport. Richard Humphreys reports Keeping the green GOLF INTERNAT IONAL DE ROI SSY- EN- FRANCE , FRANCE