Formerly “belly” of Paris then “hole” site, the Halles, one of the oldest districts in Paris, is once again a facelift with the opening Tuesday of the canopy and air roof in sheet form. The building, which houses cultural facilities of the city and cap the second commercial center of France, will be inaugurated in the day by the Socialist Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo before opening to the public in the evening. After five years of work, “Les Halles enter the twenty-first century,” said Jean-Louis Missika, deputy urban planning of the city, evoking a “renewal of the district and one for her time architecture”. The site, which generally cost a billion euros, including 240 million for the Canopy, nevertheless will be fully completed until 2018, after completion of the work in the metro-RER station, the pedestrian area and the final delivery of the garden.
Signed architects Patrick Berger and Jacques Anziutti, Canopy – the name given to the tree tops – is a vast structure that Place des Vosges or the Cour Carree of the Louvre: a roof made of 18,000 glass flake overlooking a vast circulation space open to the west over a width of 96 meters. On both wings will distribute 6,000 m2 of cultural facilities, “probably the largest concentration of cultural facilities and equipment Paris and beyond,” said Bruno Julliard, deputy for Culture. To the north, “La Place” and its 1400 m2 host a hip hop center with a recording studio and an auditorium with 200 seats open to all hip-hop disciplines: dance, graffiti, fashion and a business incubator related to the movement.
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A House of amateur artistic practices (MPAA), fourth of its kind in Paris, offers studio and rehearsal rooms for music associations, dance or theater. – A housing “site busy” – The library of the Canopy-La Fontaine, accessible to the deaf, will offer two 3D printers, a manga bar and one of the largest funds on urban cultures. Over 2,600 m2, the south wing of the Canopy houses the Conservatory W.A Mozart and its 27 music rooms, 3 ballrooms, 1 room drama.
Canopy, which connects the “city below to the top,” according to its designers, overlooks a Les Halles also renovated which will be fully completed in 2017: 75,000 m2 surface, of which 15,000 m2 newly created, the more spacious aisles, the enhanced ceilings. LED lighting will divide by 6 energy consumption and gray granite floor was replaced with a light marble, “to give more light,” the owner Unibail-Rodamco. In all, the new center will host 150 stores, against 115 earlier. Among them, some exclusive distributors (L’Exception, Sept-Five) known brands in new concepts (Nike, Sephora), a grocery store to supply nearby. Lego will open its first store emblem. Two new breweries, designed with the chef Alain Ducasse for the first and designer Philippe Starck for the second, also will open.
One of the achievements of the project, not the least of which was to be made “site busy” without interrupting the activities of this district tingling in the heart of the capital. For Les Halles, it is 750,000 daily passengers through the Châtelet-Les Halles station, the largest underground station in Europe with its 3 RER lines and 5 subway lines, itself still under renovation. Some 300,000 people pass every day in the neighborhood, half of which frequent the mall. Les Halles, “it was for centuries the belly of Paris + +” that fed the capital, said Missika. And then a “huge wound” with the “Halles hole”, the excavation of the site before the construction of the Forum inaugurated in 1979, he said. Today, the new building “repair the original injury.”