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Competition: Reinvent Paris 2

Metro Croix Rouge
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The Mayor of Paris has launched an international contest seeking ‘open, vibrant and radiant’ proposals for a 150,000m² swathe of subterranean sites across the French capital

The competition, part of the city’s ongoing ‘Reinvent Paris’ initiative, invites teams of architects and developers to draw up transformative visions for 34 underground facilities including disused metro stations, tunnels, car parks, garages and vaulted cellars.

The call for ideas comes three years after mayor Anne Hidalgo launched an earlier edition of contest focussing on 23 above ground sites throughout Paris. Winners included David Chipperfield and Sou Fujimoto.

Commenting on the latest competition, Hidalgo said: ‘We are pleased to launch “Reinvent Paris 2” which opens up new horizons. Indeed it welcomes partners wanting to renew their real estate practices. And it illuminates an unsuspected world – that of the underground city – exposing the creativity of participating teams to unknown, unusual and remarkable spaces.

‘Each of them is invited to give free rein to an imagination that must be architectural as well as economic, cultural and social - in order to take up, in the most concrete way possible, the major challenges faced by metropolises. By this approach, we refuse a Paris vitrified by nostalgia or, conversely, drowned in a contemporary movement of standardization. By opening the field of possibilities, articulating urban, ecological and democratic revolutions, we give shape to the City of tomorrow: open, open, open, vibrant and radiant.’

Spanning around 105 square kilometres, Paris is home to around 2.3 million residents in its central area and hosts one of the world’s oldest and largest subway network. The historic city is also renowned for its catacombs which hold the remains of more than six million people.

The latest project focusses on 34 city-owned subterranean sites spread throughout the capital. Disused metro stations featured in the call for ideas include Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement, Croix-Rouge (pictured) in the 6th arrondissement and Saint-Martin on the boundary of the 3rd and 10th arrondissements.

Various parking lots, garages and electrical substations are also included along with a factory, institute and abattoir featuring large basements.

In 2016, David Chipperfield and Sou Fujimoto were named among the high-profile winners of an earlier series of linked design competitions aimed at reinvigorating 23 above-ground sites across Paris.

Chipperfield’s winning proposal for the Immeuble Morland office building will see the landmark structure, which backs onto the River Seine, extended and opened up to provide new housing, a youth hostel, hotel facilities, offices, retail outlets and a food market.

Other competition winners included DCG architects’ proposals to redevelop the former Masséna Station; Xtu Architects’ green plans for a 2,086m2 plot in the Rive Gauche Urban Development Zone; and proposals for new infill homes on an existing estate by Nicolas Laisné* Associés and landscape architect Bassinet et Turquin.

Shortlisted teams in the Reinvent Paris 2 contest will be selected next year with the overall winners due to be announced in November 2018.

The deadline to applications is 15 November.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

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