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Paris: sustainable development

Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Paris: sustainable development
By Editorial Staff -

Since 2001 Paris has embarked on a sweeping operation of urban upgrade and new building affecting some 10% of the city’s territory. Out of this venture came the Plan Local d’Urbanisme which replaced the Plan d’Occupation des Sols as of 2006 and aims to be more than a mere planning document: in harmony with the Programme Local de l’Habitat and the Plan de Déplacements Urbains it stands as a full-scale city project shaping the face of Paris for the next twenty years. The sights are set high: to heal urban wounds and dysfunction, to restore identity to slum areas, to meet the demands of sustainable development and ‘valorise’ the multifold heritage of the city.
From a material and symbolic standpoint one of the most important sites for development is the Défense. Its typical structure and international dimension give it the status of the leading business forum in continental Europe. In 2006 a Renewal Plan was passed to preserve la Défense as the emblem of the French economy after a period of eclipse. It is also a benchmark of sustainable development.
A broad sequence of operations have been set in motion: old buildings have been restored, 300.000 sq m of new offices will be housed in a series of new tower blocks; 100.000 sq m of accommodation will be built on the guiding principle of urban mixité which lends the site its singular identity. Sustainable development being the watchword, the public promoter EPAD decided the new buildings should meet the THQE standards (Très Haute Qualité Environnementale - High Environmental Quality).
The crowning feature of the new development is the Tour Signal, conceived as an architectural statement, a bold stroke of formal and technological modernism, and the first such tower to have a genuine variety of end-user. The brief to competitors was to ensure use of renewable energy, though without neglecting the economic and social sides to sustainability: the more integrated the various features, the better.

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