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New Green Neighbourhood Planned for Paris

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners | 6:50

New Green Neighbourhood Planned for Paris

Peter Smisek

18 July 2019

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BRITISH architecture practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) have won a competition organised by the city of Paris to redesign the centre of the Montparnasse quarter in the Left Bank.

The nine-hectare site in central Paris comprises the square in front of the Gare du Montparnasse train station, as well as the Tour Montparnasse - the city's much-maligned lone skyscraper built in the 1970s - and a large shopping centre and mid-rise office complex.

Above: The existing complex built in the 1970s is closed off to the city around it (image courtesy of RSHP).

While the 210-metre tower will be closing at the end of this year and will be fitted with a new facade and a glass-topped roof garden, the mixed-use commercial complex below will be readapted to serve the changing needs of businesses in the 21st Century.

Above: The Montparnasse complex will be open to the surrounding city and add a significant amount of green space (image courtesy of RSHP).

One of the first interventions proposed by RSHP is to break open massive urban block which currently comprises the Maine Montparnasse by responding to Paris's famous diagonal avenues.

This will allow for more than 4,000 trees to be planted, and add 10,000 square metres of green space, in line with Paris's plans to combat the urban island heat effect.

Above: The plan will reuse and extend the existing structures as much as possible, minimising demolition (image courtesy of RSHP).

Current plans include the reuse and extension of existing structures as much as possible, limiting the amount of demolition while increasing the lifespan of the buildings.

There are also proposals to introduce urban agriculture on the rooftops of the new complex.

Above: The mid-rise complex will complete in 2030 (image courtesy of RSHP). 

The refurbishment of the Tour Montparnasse is set to complete by late 2023, just in time for Paris's 2024 Olympics, while works on the lower parts of the complex are expected to take until 2030 to complete.

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