Living Within a Market: Plateau Central Masterplan and Housing at Clichy-Montfermeil, Metropolis of Paris Living Within a Market consists of a journey through a series of models to showcase the design process of the Plateau Central project in the metropolis of Paris. Central to the installation is a 1:50 model section of the building as an analogy of Georges Perec’s essay La vie, mode d’emploi to represent the lifestyle of the inhabitants of Plateau Central. The Plateau Central building is raised in a neighbourhood mainly consisting of an immigrant population and closely related to a marketplace. In the project, the apartments are in the centre of a system which includes urban agriculture on the roofs, terraces as common spaces for the neighbours, and the presence of a food market inside the volume of the same building—conceived not only as a commercial space but also as a community space and a tool for a larger social integration. The experience of this periphery of Paris points out the fact that activities linked to food are some of the most efficient ways to achieve active participation from the collective. A market, therefore, seems to be a perfectly adequate scenario for this purpose. OUTSIDE SPACE IS ALSO HOME In response to the theme of the 17. International Architecture Exhibition “How will we live together?”, we have designed a beautiful journey through a series of models to showcase the design process of ‘Plateau Central’ masterplan. The reality of these times has helped us to arrive to a more global approach of the dwellings in the future. The main housing building of the ‘Plateau Central’ masterplan ‘Centr-Halle’ is raised in a neighbourhood mainly composed by an immigrant population and includes a marketplace on the ground floor. The growth population and the changing economic situation brings to us a scenario of the house unit getting smaller and smaller; while the existing pandemic is making us reflect about how important it is to have an outdoor space where you can expand the limits of each home and enjoy open-air. Spaces are linked to the collective housing and allow conviviality and the feeling of being part of a community. At ‘Centr-Halle’ Collective Housing and Market, the apartments are in the centre of a system which includes urban agriculture on roofs, terraces as common spaces for the neighbours, and the presence of a food market inside the volume of the same building – conceived not only as a commercial space but also as a community space and a tool for a larger social integration. It also includes the new subway station ‘Clichy-Montfermeil’ part of Grand Paris Express, connecting with the Great Paris and its centre, the art centre ‘Villa Medicis’ where people can learn and practice urban art especially developed in these peripheries of cities, and the great fresco ‘Chroniques de Clichy-Montfermeil’ by the local born but international renowned artist JR (Jean René), which will be applied in ceramics on the exterior wall of the metro station. The masterplan is enhanced by lively public spaces full of activities and by a green walkway (La Duise) which leads to a park. Canopies, open activities, art, colours and soft architecture seem to us the best therapy for transforming a difficult periphery in a space that everybody feel as their own. The experience of this periphery of Paris points out the fact that the activities linked with art, food and movement are increasing the narrow spaces of today’s private housing so that the neighbours can sense that outside space is also part of their home. The most efficient way to get an active participation from the collective. And a market is the perfect scenario to achieve this goal.
Benedetta Tagliabue studied architecture at the Istituto di Architettura di Venezia and currently acts as director of the international architecture firm Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, founded in 1994 in collaboration with Enric Miralles, based in Barcelona and, Shanghai.
Among her most notable projects built are the Edinburgh Parliament, Diagonal Mar Park, the Santa Caterina market in Barcelona, Campus Universitario de Vigo, and the Spanish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
Current studio projects include the Business School of Fudan University in Shanghai, office towers in Xiamen and Taichung, public spaces of HafenCity in Hamburg Germany, and the metro station Clichy-Montfermeil in Paris, France (1st prize in competition), the Naples Underground Central Station in Italy...
Her work received the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2005, the National Spanish Prize in 2006, the Catalan National prize in 2002, City of Barcelona prize in 2005 and 2009, FAD prizes in 2000, 2003 and 2007.