News: MVRDV has been granted planning approval to overhaul a 1970s shopping centre on Gaîté-Montparnasse in Paris, with a design intended to give the building a new identity.
The Rotterdam-based studio plans to renovate and extend Vandamme Nord in the French capital’s 14th arrondissement, adding a facade of colourful stacked boxes, new entrances and planted roof terraces, all expected to “reintroduce the lost human scale”.
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The shopping centre was originally designed by French architect Pierre Dufau, and also includes office floors, a hotel, a library and an underground car park. All of this is set to be renovated, plus MVRDV plans to add housing, a kindergarten and a conference centre.
“This project is a fantastic chance to insert a little bit of human scale into a megalomaniacal 1970s development in the very heart of Paris,” explained Winy Maas, one of the three founders of MVRDV. “We will bring order to the complex building, making it accessible from all sides and intensifying its use through a higher density of programs.”
The existing facade will be replaced with an assortment of glazed boxes, varying in shape, size, colour and material. MVRDV believes this will help to break down the massing of the building.
Fitting in with the existing structural frame, these boxes will present all of the building’s different uses, but are also designed to be flexible to suit a changing programme.
“On its facade the building will display all of the activities that are going on inside,” said Maas. “For this we have developed a catalogue of facade-elements that are exchangeable, so that the entire ensemble can respond flexibly to changes in use over the coming years.”
The shopping centre will be extended, with additional entrances created on Avenue du Maine to the east and Rue Mouchotte to the west, while the existing office floors will be relocated into a six-storey block featuring planted roof terraces.
The Bibliothèque Vandamme library will be relocated from the basement to the top of the building’s plinth, where MVRDV will also create 62 social housing units and a 500-square-metre kindergarten.
Approximately 150 scooter parking spaces will be added within the six-storey underground car park.
Local architect SRA
Installation consultant LAFI + INEXC
Cost consultant Vanguard
Facade engineers RFR
Acoustic consultant LASA
Fire safety consultant: BATISS
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