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Chipperfield gets planning for contest-winning Paris scheme

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David Chipperfield Architects has won the go-ahead for its proposed overhaul of the landmark Morland office overlooking the River Seine in Paris

The competition-winning scheme to revamp the seat of the former Paris Prefecture, which was built between 1957 and 1964 and designed by Albert Laprade, is one of a swathe of projects forming part of Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s Reinventer Paris urban regeneration initiative.

Other practices to land jobs under the programme through design competitions last year include Sou Fujimoto Architects, DCG and XTU Architects (see AJ 05.02.16).

Chipperfield’s proposals will see the exisitng ‘rather forbidding complex’ remodelled, extended and opened up to provide new housing, a youth hostel, hotel facilities, offices, as well as a bar and restaurant.

The top two floors of the main 16-storey tower will be opened up to the public and feature an ’inhabitable installation’ by Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann from Studio Other Spaces.

Construction is due to start on site in December 2017.

Chipperfield immeuble

Chipperfield immeuble

(left) competition-winning scheme (right) approved proposals

Architect’s view

The Préfecture de Paris on Boulevard Morland is situated on the banks of the River Seine in 4th arrondissement of Paris. The building, which originally housed city administration, was completed around 1960 by the architect Albert Laprade.

The existing ensemble comprises a 16-storey tower flanked by two nine-storey wings, which form a square facing the boulevard. As a consequence of the grand scale and the stringent, repetitive façade grid, the ensemble has a closed-off and unapproachable appearance, which is also evident in the currently rather lifeless square.

Within the context of the Call for Projects Reinventer Paris, the mayor of Paris selected the building in 2014, alongside 22 further sites to be redeveloped.

New concepts were to be generated for these sites by interdisciplinary teams, comprising architects, project developers, landscape architects and artists.

The call for projects was driven by the notion that the participants’ innovative, economic and sustainable ideas for living space, density, mix and energy will give the capital city new impetus for the long term. The team David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and the French developer Emerige won the Call for Projects for the ensemble on Boulevard Morland.

The concept for the Morland Mixité Capitale comprises the refurbishment, remodelling and extension of the existing ensemble. The previously introverted complex will be made accessible to the public, transforming it into a lively and open place with the character of a campus and emanating a positive effect for the overall neighbourhood.

Two new building volumes facing the boulevard and the River Seine, which mediate between the scale of the existing and neighbouring buildings, contribute to the repair of the city. The volumes create generous public courtyards and link the existing wings like bridges. Vaulted arcades at ground floor level act as a counterpart to the stringent column grid of the existing ensemble and establish an inviting entrance gesture to the campus. The arcades accompany the passers-by into the interior of the ensemble, creating a new public axis which provides a route from the boulevard to the River Seine.

The future ensemble will accommodate a wide spectrum of usages: upscale and social housing, a hotel, a youth hostel, offices, retail, a gallery, a market hall and a childcare facility. The two top floors, which were only accessible to the public for a few years following the completion of the original building, will be given back to the public, housing an inhabitable art installation by Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann from Studio Other Spaces, a bar and restaurant.

From these upper storeys the inhabitants and visitors will enjoy wide vistas over the French capital.

1130 07 c smue n17

1130 07 c smue n17

Project data 
Competition 2015-2016
Construction start 2017
Completion due 2020
Gross floor area 63,500m2
Client Société Parisienne du Nouvel Arsenal
Project management Emerige, Paris
Architect David Chipperfield Architects Berlin
Partners David Chipperfield, Christoph Felger (Design lead), Harald Müller
Project architects Ronan Burke (Competition), Wiebke Ahues (Project)
Project team Rodrigo Antón Carrasquer, Konrad Basan, Wolfgang Baumeister, Axel Burkhard, Mirjam von Busch, Emmi Frank, Alvaro Gonzalez, Anne Hengst, Paul Hillerkus, Katharina Loges, Maximilian Lohmann, Sandra Morar, Carthage Murphy, Rebecca Odewole, Joshua Saunders, André Silva Oliveira, Simon Wiesmaier
Competition team Rodrigo Antón Carrasquer, Wolfgang Baumeister, Ivan Dimitrov, Bertram Dreyer, Pavel Frank, Paul Hillerkus, Cyril Kriwan, Dalia Liksaite, Carthage Murphy, Maude Orban, Elsa Pandozi, Christof Piaskowski, Lydia Ramakers, Joshua Saunders, Noriyuki Sawaya, Iason Tsironis, Niklas Veelken, Jaro Venitz, Marc Warrington, Amelie Wegner, Max Werner, Simon Wiesmaier, Annabell Wolf, Ute Zscharnt
In collaboration with Calq Architecture, Paris
Contact architect BRS-Architectes, Paris
Cost estimation CB économie, Chartres
Structural engineer Somete, Paris
Bollinger & Grohmann, Berlin
Building physics Barbanel Ingénierie, Beauzelle
Façade consultant Bollinger & Grohmann, Paris
Fire protection consultant MDS, Paris
Acoustic consultant Acoustique Vivié & Associés, Paris
Sustainability Etamine, Paris
Art installation, interior bar  Studio Other Spaces, Berlin with
Olafur Eliasson, Sebastian Behmann
Landscape architect Michel Desvigne Paysagiste, Paris
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