NoéMie Schwaller

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NoéMie Schwaller
Zürich   Suiza

Grand Pari(s)


President Sarkozy announces revival plan for Paris
 

“We have to think big”, said President Sarkozy on 30 April 2009 at the opening of the exhibition at the Palais de Chaillot, where ten of thirty-seven future models for the re-design of Paris are on display.

Paris is divided by an urban motorway which was built around the centre in 1973. This 'boulevard périphérique' diverts the traffic around and into the city and it regularly grinds to a halt, in spite of having up to eight lanes in each direction. Today it is one of Europe's busiest roads.
Grand Pari(s)
Map of Paris with the Boulevard Périphérique
to the Boulevard Périphérique to the Boulevard Périphérique

Necessity is now going to be turned into sustainable development. Accordingly at the opening of the 'Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine' at the Palais de Chaillot in the autumn of 2007 the French president called for a "diagnosis of the urban landscape and visions for the coming twenty to forty years", inviting forty-three working groups of architects and town planners to submit ideas for a competition. The results are to be seen in this exhibition.
to the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine to the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine

Grand Pari(s)
An entirely new plan for Paris by MVRDV
to MVRDV to MVRDV

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Balconies covered in plants decorate the Seventies' Tour Montparnasse: Jean Nouvel, Jean-Marie Duthilleul and Michel Cantal-Dupart, based on a sketch by Frank Gehry
to Jean Nouvel @ Architonic to Jean Nouvel @ Architonic

to Frank Gehry @ Architonic to Frank Gehry @ Architonic

What all the visions of the future on display in the exhibition on expanding the historic core of the city have in common is the extension of railway lines for local transport, the enlargement of the métro and road network as well as compliance with the environmental commitments involved in the Kyoto protocol.
Ignoring any reservations relating to the current economic crisis Sarkozy has stated: “Grand Paris is all about the role which the capital city plays in the European and global economy … In my opinion the answer to the crisis is major projects. France needs big projects in order to revive its economy.”
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Reminiscent of the 1988 monorail in Sydney, Australia: transport system by Christian de Portzamparc

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Turning two into one: Christian de Portzamparc brings together the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l'Est to create a new railway station in the north of the city, freeing up areas of track which can be turned into parks, motorway exit roads and a museum.

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A park is also planned by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
to Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

He has promised a 130-km long "grand huit" (big figure eight) métro right around Paris, which will operate automatically to make it easier for commuters to get to work and link outlying districts, the universities and the business area. 35 billion euros is to be invested in easing the over-crowded public transport situation in Paris.

In the Nineteen-Sixties General de Gaulle, president of France until 1969, landed Paris with its haphazard housing estate construction. His programme of development was responsible for the spread of those depressing 'banlieues' without any charm or adequate links to public transport which four years ago were the scene of violent riots.
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Concept study by Studio 08– Studio Associato Bernardo Secchi & Paola Viganò

Grand Pari(s)
Concept study by Studio 08– Studio Associato Bernardo Secchi & Paola Viganò

Since de Gaulle's time there has been little attempt to 'think big', and France's presidents have been satisfied with leaving behind the kind of emblematic building with which the 'ville des lumières' is crowded and saturated. For example Giscard d'Estaing converted a railway station into the impressionist mecca Musée d'Orsay, Georges Pompidou had no less than two memorials erected in the form of the La Défense business district, the centre of which is the triumphal modern Grande Arche, and the artistic and cultural hub of the Centre Pompidou. François Mitterrand turned the Louvre pyramids, the Bastille opera house and the new National library into tourist attractions, followed by Jacques Chirac with the Musée du Quai Branly.
It is the first time that well-known architects are occupying themselves in this way with the future of a capital city. However, this is not the kind of architectural competition in which the winning entry will be implemented in full. In this case the aim of the government is more to derive inspiration from the draft projects which are submitted.
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The Seine as the principal traffic artery in a Paris which will stretch as far as Le Havre on the coast: Grumbach et Associés

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An invitation to take a stroll: tree-lined boulevards by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
to Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

President Sarkozy has suggested a relaxation of the city's building regulations in order to improve the shortage of housing in the city with its twelve million inhabitants. Such a relaxation would enable the government to build 70'000 new council flats and a number of skyscrapers in the centre of the city, where the construction of high-rise buildings has been forbidden for thirty years now. There are concrete plans for six construction sites in six of the outer districts, the 12th., 13th., 15th., 17th., 18th. and 20th. arrondissements. However Bertrand Delanoë, the socialist mayor of Paris, has promised that this time there will be no architectural crimes such as the Tour Montparnasse at the railway station of the same name.
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A new port at Gennevilliers near Paris by Jean Nouvel, Jean-Marie Duthilleul and Michel Cantal-Dupart

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Before/after – concept for sustainable apartment buildings by Jean Nouvel, Jean-Marie Duthilleul and Michel Cantal-Dupart
to the Jean Nouvel Collection to the Jean Nouvel Collection

The president's further plans include the creation of a forest landscape near Charles de Gaulle airport and the development of a huge technology park in Saclay, Île de France, with 3000 inhabitants. These projects are to be financed with a combination of public and private funds. The building work would begin in 2012, at the end of Sarkozy's time in office, and the projects would take something like ten years to complete.
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The ban on high-rise buildings in the city is lifted: Atelier Castro Denissof Casi

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Sustainable architecture: design by Atelier Castro Denissof Casi
to Atelier Castro Denissof Casi to Atelier Castro Denissof Casi

to the exhibition Grand Pari(s) to the exhibition Grand Pari(s)