Thousands of people flocked this weekend to check out the winners of “Reinventing Paris”, an international architecture competition aimed at transforming forgotten public buildings and spaces into environmentally friendly urban designs.
Imagine a massive spaceship-like building planted with 1,000 trees straddling the périphérique motorway encircling Paris. Or a nearly 100-year-old former electricity sub-station transformed into a multi-screen movie theatre and entertainment hall.
These are just a couple examples of the winners of “Reinventing Paris”, an international architecture competition to transform 23 sites across the French capital into innovative environmentally-friendly urban designs.
The contest, which was launched in October 2014 by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, drew a total of 372 entries from both big and small architecture firms, 75 of which were selected as finalists. Hidalgo unveiled the winners last week at an exhibition at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, the centre for architecture and urban planning in Paris.
The proposals will now enter the construction phase, which Hidalgo said would be completed “in record time” by 2020, and will create around 2,000 jobs per year. Overall, the project is expected to cost the city more than €1.3 billion.
Eager to see how Paris is going to change, an estimated 3,500 people turned out this weekend to the see the exhibition, according to event organisers, who said they expect more than 60,000 visitors over the next three months.
In addition to the winners of “Reinventing Paris”, the exhibition showcases entries from the first and second runners-up, as well as other finalists.
In pictures: 'Reinventing Paris' winners
Morland (4th arrondissement, or district)
Winner: Morland, Mixité Capitale The Morland building has one of the best views in Paris. It will soon be home to a nursery school, public housing, a hotel as well as commercial and office space.
Hôtel de Coulanges (4th arrondissement)
Winner: Collectif Coulanges This mansion, built between the 17th and 18th centuries, will be transformed into a space for fashion and design.
Hôtel Particulier Bucherie (5th arrondissement)
Winner: Philanthro-Lab This 15th century mansion lies just a short walk from Notre Dame. Originally built to house a medical facility, it will now be turned into a philanthropic space.
Sous-station Voltaire (11th arrondissement)
Winner: Etoile Voltaire A former electricity sub-station built in the early 20th century, this building will be transformed into a multi-screen movie theatre and entertainment space.
Paris Rive Gauche (13th arrondissement)
Winner: In Vivo The empty lot will be developed into three apartment buildings, which will also contain research and art facilities.
Gare Masséna (13th arrondissement)
Winner: Ré-alimenter Masséna The abandoned 19th century train station will be restored to include a public space designed to promote local interaction between food producers and consumers.
Poterne des Peupliers (13th arrondissement)
Winner: Node The triangular 2,000-square-metre lot will be transformed into an urban logistics platform and a funeral parlour.
Conservatoire (13th arrondissement)
Winner: (No proposal title given) This building dates back to the early 1980s and was home to the local conservatory until 2014. The space will soon be used for student housing among other things.
Edison (13th arrondissement)
Winner: Edison Lite Currently vacant, this 400-square-metre lot will be used to build housing with shared living space, as well as a rooftop vegetable garden.
Italie (13th arrondissement)
Winner: Italik This public space, popular among skateboarders, will soon be home to a multi-purpose building with a sprawling 1,100-square-metre rooftop garden.
Bains Douches Castagnary (15th arrondissement)
Winner: Bains Douches & Co Built in the 1930s, this bathhouse shut its doors five years ago. It will now be reincarnated as France’s tallest wooden building and will consist of student housing and co-working spaces.
Clichy-Batignolles (17th arrondissement)
Winner: Stream Building This bus depot will soon become a massive building with office space for mobile workers, as well as a rooftop garden.
Pitet-Curnonsky (17th arrondissement)
Winner: Le Jardin Habite This sprawling public housing complex dating back to the 1970s will be made over into “living gardens”.
Bessières (17th arrondissement)
Winner: Noc42 This residential building, which was constructed in 1958, will be turned into student housing.
Pershing (17th arrondissement)
Winner: Milles Arbres This plot of land straddling the pérphérique motorway circling Paris will be developed into a spaceship-like building planted with 1,000 trees and containing a nursery school, as well as housing.
Ternes-Villiers (17th arrondissement)
Winner: La Ville Multi-Strate This empty lot above the pérphérique will soon be turned into homes reserved for first-time buyers, public housing as well as commercial and office space.
Ordener (18th arrondissement)
Winner: Tranches de Vie This 1,800-square-metre lot, was owned by the national rail company SNCF, will be the site of a new building with multiple housing units and a nursery school.
Ourq Jaurès (19th arrondissement)
Winner: La Ferme du Rail This plot of land will soon be turned into a farm that will primarily benefit horticulture students and individuals re-entering the workforce.
Triangle-Evangile (19th arrondissement)
Winner: L’Ilot Fertile The site, located between an old McDonald’s warehouse and a commuter train station, will soon become the city’s first entirely “zero-carbon” nieghbourhood.
Gambetta (20th arrondissement)
The former garage/parking lot will be reincarnated into a building with 12 housing units and will be dedicated to the art of dance.
Buzenval (20th arrondissement)
Winner: Auberge Buzenval This unused lot will soon be transformed into a concept youth hostel with 142 beds.
Piat (20th arrondissement)
Winner: La Serre Habitée This 275-square-metre lot perched at the top of Belleville will become housing for architecture students.
Date created : 2016-02-08