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Local Matters / Changing Landscape

Reinventing Paris: the 22 winners of the competition announced

Voltaire Réinventer Paris

The City of Paris has finally announced the 22 winners of the “Réinventer Paris” competition, launched in November 2014.

The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo recently announced the 22 winning projects of the urban design competition “Réinventer Paris”, or “Reinventing Paris”. A call for projects to rebuild and renovate select spots across the city was launched over a year ago in November 2014. Out of the 372 projects initially submitted, 75 were preselected in July 2015.

The competition involved projects being submitted to redesign or rebuild 23 selected sites across the capital — one site has been dropped since — all owned by the City of Paris and representing a total of 150,000 square meters.

Winning proposals have been chosen in accordance with the project’s aim to focus on social inclusion and the greening of the city for aesthetic and environmental purposes. The competition’s objective was also to innovate and shape the capital’s future urban development. Many of the buildings and sites involved had fallen into disuse and needed extensive renovation works or complete rebuilding and repurposing.

According to the City of Paris, the selected projects represent private investment totaling 1.3 billion euros and their development is expected to create 2,000 jobs, mainly in the construction industry, for a minimum of 3 years. Environmentally friendly or “green” projects will comprise 26,000 square meters and will include planted areas and a “1000-tree” forest. The plan is also set to create over 1,340 new residences, including 675 social housing units.

The ideas selected for construction include:

The “Pershing” floating village:

Also dubbed the “1000 trees”, this project has been highly mediatized and is considered the most iconic of the competition. It involves a unique structure in an upside-down pyramid shape bridging over the ring road between the 17th arrondissement and Neuilly-sur-Seine. It will contain private and social housing, office space and a hotel, all of it hidden within a forest of a thousand trees.

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The “Morland” prefecture; an indoor market and youth hostel:

While the 1000 trees is the most iconic project of the competition, the Morland proposal in the 4th arrondissement is the largest. Located near the chic Île de la Cité, the future building aims to be a lively hub for Parisians, complete with a traditional indoor market. It will also house a large youth hostel and a smaller luxury hotel, as well as offices, a fitness center, pool, nursery and cultural center. As with many projects involved in the Reinventing Paris competition, the building will also feature gardens and spaces dedicated to urban agriculture.

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The electrical substation Voltaire repurposed as a cinema:
An early twentieth century building in the 11th arrondissement near Place de la République is set to be transformed into a movie theater. The building, which used to be an electrical substation is listed and will therefore see its current façade preserved and worked into the proposed architecture.

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The Castagnary Bathhouse transformed into an artist collective:

The small red-brick structure located at 34 rue Castagnary in the 15th arrondissement and which used to contain bathhouses will be turned into an artist collective and shared housing.

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These projects, along with the other 18 winners (as well as the finalists and initial projects not selected for construction) can be seen in a specific exhibit at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal until May 8.

Photo credit: Mairie de Paris

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