Imagine a massive spaceship-like building planted with 1,000 trees straddling the périphérique motorway circling Paris. Or a nearly 100-year-old former electricity sub-station transformed into a multi-screen movie theatre and entertainment hall.
These are just a couple examples of the winners of “Reinventing Paris”, an international architecture competition to transform 23 sites across the French capital into innovative environmentally-friendly urban designs.
The contest, which was launched in October 2014 by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, drew a total of 372 entries from both big and small architecture firms, 75 of which were selected as finalists. Hidalgo unveiled the winners last week at an exhibition at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, the centre for architecture and urban planning in Paris.
The proposals will now enter the construction phase, which Hidalgo said would be completed “in record time” by 2020, and will create around 2,000 jobs per year. Overall, the project is expected to cost the city €1.3 billion.
Eager to see how Paris is going to change, an estimated 3,500 people turned out this weekend to the see the exhibition, according to event organisers, who said they expect more than 60,000 visitors over the next three months.
In addition to the winners of “Reinventing Paris”, the exhibition showcases entries from the first and second runners-up, as well as other finalists.