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Levete wins contest to overhaul Paris' second top tourist attraction

Boulevard Haussman
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Amanda Levete’s studio AL_A has won a major competition to overhaul Paris’ world-famous Galeries Lafayette department store

It is understood the Stirling Prize-winning architect defeated Rem Koolhaas’ OMA and fellow London firm Farshid Moussavi Architecture to win the landmark 40,000m² scheme.

Planned to start on site next year, the project will overhaul the department store’s flagship Art Nouveau building on Boulevard Haussmann.

Featuring an iconic glass and steel cupola, the Georges Chedanne-designed 1912 structure is Paris’ second most visited tourist attraction after the Eiffel Tower.

According to a Galeries Lafayette statement, AL_A won the job because of its ‘bold proposal and intuitive conceptual approach that will create a visionary metamorphosis of the department store’s main building.’

AL_A director Amanda Levete said: ‘This store is an institution that has a special place in the life and identity of the city of Paris. Our commission is a fantastic opportunity to build on tradition to make a living contribution to the future of Galeries Lafayette and the cultural life of Paris.

‘The exquisite craftsmanship of the original building and its location in the heart of Haussmann’s city are both elements we seek to celebrate as we move forward.’

Galeries Lafayette chief executive Nicolas Houzé commented: ‘We are delighted to start this collaboration with Amanda Levete and her team to conduct the reinvention of this iconic Cupola building, which is also the soul of the Galeries Lafayette brand.

‘Amanda has demonstrated her talent for radical thinking and reimagining built heritage, and I am confident that her innovative vision will serve our ambition to offer to our clients the department store of the 21st century.’



Source: Image by Peter Guenzel

Amanda Levete

The announcement comes one month after BIG won a separate contest for a new 7,000m² concept store for the company on the historic Avenue des Champs-Élysées which is due to complete in 2018.

Levete completed a £60 million Selfridges store in Birmingham 13 years ago with her previous practice Future Systems, which won the Stirling Prize in 1999 for the Lord’s Media Centre.

Earlier this month Levete won a competition for a new 2,000m² mosque within the emerging World Trade Centre development in Abu Dhabi.

AL_A’s £49.5 million Exhibition Road project to redevelop the V&A’s Boilerhouse Yard entrance is expected to complete next year.

The first images showing AL_A’s competition-winning Galeries Lafayette design are expected to be revealed in October.



Source: Image by Wouter Hagens

Galeries Lafayette

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