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Local Matters / Changing Landscape

Reinventing the Seine: 72 Project Finalists Announced

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One year on from its announcement, the ‘Reinventing the Seine’ project now has 72 finalists for the 35 sites along the Seine river. Propositions include diving centres, floating residential shipping containers for students and artistic renovations of abandoned sites. 

The call to “Reinvent the Seine” was made in January last year. Property developers and architects put their thinking caps on and spent 2016 coming up with innovative projects to regenerate the 35 designated sites of the river. The finalists have been chosen and are now tasked with elaborating on their projects until the summer deadline.

The projects intend to renovate vacant riverbanks and disused or decrepit sites along a 365-km stretch of the river, in Paris, Rouen and Le Havre. For example, several projects aim to convert the vacant wine chateau in Rouen into an arts or cultural centre. As the Seine is the historic lifeblood and centre of each city, it is worth keeping an eye out for the winners of the competition as they will change the inner urban landscape. And with residential proposals, there’s always the chance interesting and unconventional investment opportunities arise.

For example, floating residential villages have been proposed by several developers. Un village flottant dans les bassin du Havre (a floating village in the Havre docks), brought forward by Chenet Design & Architecture, would entail using the sea-facing docks of the city for a neighborhoood of residential barges. Not too distant from the Village Flottant at Rouen proposed by Paris U, which would use old shipping containers and be aimed at students.

And in Paris’ 12th arrondissement, an urban recreational island has been proposed for the Place de Mazas, which can be found next to the Gare de Lyon. NACARAT, the developers, have suggested an aquatics centre and diving cave, as well as a public space. The Suzanne Baker outdoor swimming pool already exists not too far away.

The sites in Paris with the most competition (at this point, initial applications aside), with four finalists each, are the disused water treatment facilities at Ivry-Sur-Seine and the centrally-located Gros Caillou, Invalides and Javel Bas Riverbanks (7th, 7th and 15th arrondissements respectively).  The full list of 72 projects for the 35 “Reinventing the Seine” sites can be seen here.

image © Wikicommons

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