An international architecture competition aiming to give Paris' much loathed Montparnasse Tower a 21st-century makeover selected the proposal by team Nouvelle AOM as the winning design back in 2017. Now, two years later, another competition hopes to overhaul the greater master plan of the Maine-Montparnasse area.
Organised by the Ville de Paris, the initiative has selected the proposal by London-based Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to resolve the neighborhood's long-standing issues with accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists and bring the area's sustainability performance up to speed.
"The challenge is to transform this modern urbanism from the 1950s and 1970s to recompose and reshape an urban landscape consistent with the Parisian fabric and adapted to contemporary climate commitments," said Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris.
"Our project aims to simplify how the site is read, how it is perceived and how people move and interact within it, whilst also recognizing and reinforcing its unique qualities," explains RSHP's response to the competition win.
"We have aimed to apply a global vision to this transformation by
instilling more dynamism and diversity to this pivotal quarter of Paris.
We want to celebrate the intrinsic qualities of 'place', its vocation
as a cultural and transport hub whilst also radically transforming its
image. We propose to deliver a more lively, accessible and sustainable
neighbourhood. Our objective is to open the existing outdated and
essentially introverted and closed complex of the Maine-Montparnasse
Tour Real Estate Development (or EITMM), rendering it more permeable. We identify its 'natural' flows and desire lines to deliver direct, short, simple and legible routes across the site. The road access is rationalized in favour of the pedestrian and bicycle access as well as public transport. Reflecting the desires of the majority of the local residents who have been consulted, we are proposing a new 'green' neighbourhood including the planting of an 'urban forest', composed of 4000 new trees and 10 000 m² of green space. The image of this site which is currently dominated by hardscape, roads and parking will be radically changed."
"We also aim to deliver an ambitious sustainable strategy, an exemplary low carbon district in Maine Montparnasse. The new neighbourhood will be carefully adapted to the challenges of climate change, incorporate bioclimatic design, the management of the wind and heat island effects, rooftop urban agriculture, cogeneration and shared energy systems, improved biodiversity, components of a circular, on -site economy on-site and, notably, a large proportion of conserved and recycled buildings and structures (thereby reducing the amount of demolition). By adding, but also by removing elements, in a targeted manner we propose a development on a human scale, better integrated within the urban fabric of the city, a resilient neighbourhood that can evolve with time and house a dynamic diversity of uses through a gradual, intelligent and pragmatic phasing strategy. For this vision to become a reality, we are committed to engaging with all stakeholders and will be entering into a process of dialogue the purpose of which will be to deliver a project which reflects a broad consensus, a balance of advantage that takes into account the interests of a wide diversity of parties. The proposal developed with the Ville de Paris, the collective of owners of the EITMM and the wider public, will also seek to conceive a project of great quality that contributes to Paris’ exceptional urban legacy."
To learn more about the competing proposals by L’AUC, TVK, and uapS, click here (PDF, in French).
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