The Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the Unesco list of World Heritage Sites since 1979.
The construction of the roadway (1879) allowed the connection of the Island to the mainland, yet the new sluice obstructed the free course of the sea disconnecting the waters of the river Couesnoon from the bay. The island slowly disappeared. The new 760 meters long jetty replaces the massive roadway and restores the insularity of the Mont-Saint-Michel.
From the mainland to the Mount, the structure’s general geometry forms a continuous and fluid movement. Slightly offset to the East before turning back, it opens up wide views of the bay and the Tombelaine rock.
If the jetty’s structure is minimal in its expression, it is very ambitious in its design and performance.
The causeway becomes part of the bay by virtue of its curvy geometry that embraces the bay and accompanies the walker. Following the lines designed by water, the causeway suggests multiple views around the Mount. Perfectly horizontal, the deck merges into the horizon.
A serpentine curve on a series of 134 pillars leads over the tideland up to the mount. The inspiration derives from the sight of a mussel farm with its sticks rising from the sea. The low structure nestles to the water almost touching it.
The discrete character of the jetty has its origins in a very conscious relationship with the site. In fact, fixing pillars each 12m in the tideland in order to achieve such a flat construction height is a really elaborate operation. More than a simple crossing, the close alignment of the pillars suggests the act of walking towards water, of approaching it slowly.
The new causeway offers a safe walkway for visitors as well as a central roadway for shuttle services.
Jetty Mont Saint Michel, France
Architect: Dietmar Feichtinger Architects
Completion: (first phase) July 2014