Paris is committed to connecting with spectacular projects led by leading architecture studios such as the one we present today for the Charenton-le-Pont neighborhood.
France does not want to be left behind when it comes to urban renewal. In particular, Paris is betting heavily on green, sustainable and, above all, useful and functional architecture, as we saw recently with the Vertical Village of Sou Fujimoto, in Rosny-sous-Bois. Now it’s time to reinvent Charenton-le-Pont with «one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe» according to its designers. There it is.
The project is called Charenton-Bercy, devised by the Bouygues Immobilier company and specifically by its subsidiary specialized in eco-neighborhoods, UrbanEra, for a contest called ‘Inventing Greater the Paris Metropolis’. An initiative that aims to reinvent the Paris Metropolis by means of 52 major urban planning actions that seek to integrate the Parisian city with its most remote areas, in the most sustainable and efficient way possible.
The location of this action, next to the River Seine and the A4 motorway, which connects directly to Strasbourg, very close to the Paris Zoological Park, is one more incentive, according to its promoters, to visit the city: “The project will allow this area to be promoted through the repair of existing urban fractures, in particular through the creation of new connections, reinventing the union between the Vincennes Forest (where the Zoo is located) and the rest of the metropolis”.
The team that has developed this part of the city is made up of the architectural firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM), responsible, for example, for the tallest tower in the world (the Burj Khalifa), by the local studio, expert in landscaping, Ateliers 2/3/4, and the engineering studio AREP, also French. Together they have developed this project that will create 360,000 square meters built, of which 115,000 will be used for residences (for 1,000 homes), 167,000 for offices and 43,000 for shops and leisure. Of course, there will also be a part for public facilities, about 6,000 square meters.
The future green building of Charenton was born with the intention of being energy self-sufficient, that is, it will not need energy from the outside to supply the needs of its users and the building’s own needs. In it, regular residences will coexist with hotel rooms, being the loft-type apartments, which will be accessed through a common garden with extensive views to the outside.
The final intention is that the building be one of the first with Well Community Standard accreditation in France, a certification that seeks to reward not only the environmental protection exercised by construction, but also take care of the health of its occupants, through seven principles , namely: air, water, light, fitness, nutrition, comfort and mind. If the building meets some 540 requirements, you will get the highest rating from this certification (luck).
For this claim to be fulfilled, the parameters of the Well Certified must be observed, for this, the design includes the collection of rainwater, the recycling of gray water, the conversion of waste into energy, the shape of the tower and its glazed envelope, the gardens on each floor that connect to the lower plaza (an almost forest) with a multitude of shops and outdoor cafes, in total, about 3.6 hectares of green areas will be created (almost nothing). The desire for “green” reaches such a point that the developer has committed to plant a tree per home.
Following the current canons, 30 percent of the residences will be social housing, and some 42,000 square meters will be used for the coexistence of students and the elderly, a whole evolution in social engineering, this, together with the commercial and leisure areas, the projection of an elementary school and a gymnasium will help the neighborhood to achieve an excellent balance between personal and community well-being, which will be greatly helped by the creation (as expected, of 15,000 local jobs).
Let’s make a final visual of what this Masterplan intends, and let’s see to what extent the obsession with green has become established in society. Of the 12 hectares that the performance will occupy, 3.6 will be green spaces, where a public garden of more than 5,000 square meters will be located, and another 9,000 square meters above the train tracks and another 7,200 green square meters next to the Seine . All this without counting that the lowest buildings will all have a landscaped roof and, the 180-meter-high tower, a 5,000-square-meter vertical garden to be divided among all the floors of the building, seriously, if you lived in the area you would already be founding a gardening company.
Another iconic building is proposed in place of the Bercy 2 Shopping Center, which they have named Neo, and which will have a circular shape with an interactive and bright facade full of Led’s (always led’s), a property intended for innovation, a digital center for this part of Paris, which will house workspaces for professionals in virtual reality, augmented reality, CGI (computer generated images), animation and video games, a highly technological building, hopefully less catastrophic than the name it bears…
Neo will be executed with a wooden frame that will rotate 360 degrees, becoming a spectacular cantilever in one part, which allows entry to the circular courtyard inside, it will have a bridge that crosses the courtyard, a fitness center on the ground floor And, you guessed it, deck gardens overlooking the Seine. The SOM tower will complete the leisure areas with a restaurant on the top floor, where we will all be delighted to have a coffee or champagne in 2,024, when it is expected to be active.