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16 Sep 2019

‘Ecosystem neighbourhood' to be built on old Paris rail site
BY Stu Robarts

The development will be built on the site of a former rail depot in Paris, France

The development will be built on the site of a former rail depot in Paris, France
photo: SLA/Biecher Architectes/Emergie/Ogic

A new carbon neutral and nature-based neighbourhood designed by SLA and Biecher Architectes is to be built on the site of a former rail depot in Paris, France.

The so-called “ecosystem neighbourhood” is designed to ensure that its constituent parts interact and work to benefit each other. For example, renewable energy generation will power amenities that will link up green spaces.

The Ordener-Poissonniers development will cover 36,500sq m (392,900sq ft) and be home to 1,000 new residents. It will also provide public parks, offices, a theatre, a public school, industrial design incubators, a graduate school of design, food courts and urban farming facilities.

Called ‘Jardin Mécano’ (or Mechanical Garden), the SLA and Biecher design aims to preserve the industrial heritage of the site, while introducing green spaces and carbon-neutral architecture. Elements such as railway tracks and signals will be reused to reinterpret the site.

The green spaces will be connected with outdoor restaurants, amphitheaters, band stands, and a large public garden. They are designed to act as a green lung for the area, helping to clean the air in the densely populated 18th arrondissement. They will also help to provide natural urban cooling, cloudburst management, strengthened biodiversity, stronger social integration and diversity.

“In the transformation of the old post-industrial railway site we have especially focused on the values and qualities we want the new development to give back to the rest of the city,” explains Rasmus Astrup, partner at SLA. “By combining the strong industrial character with innovative nature-based designs and public ecosystem services we create a new standard for nature in Paris – where nature is everywhere and where humans, plants and animals can live and flourish together.

“All is designed to make biodiversity, natural amenities, sustainability and post-industrial heritage the starting point of the entire development of Ordener-Poissonniers - a radical way of literally growing a new neighbourhood out of the existing Parisian soil”.

To achieve carbon neutrality at the site, its buildings will be arranged to harness the sun and the wind for generating power and ventilation.

Christian Biecher, founder of Biecher Architectes explains: “With the new Ordener-Poissonniers we create a new form of urban ecosystem that will be entirely carbon neutral and extremely energy efficient through its bioclimatic masterplan. All roofs will consist of innovative solar tiles, de facto turning the whole neighbourhood into one big solar power plant. Free heat from the local datacenter is extracted and used in the buildings. All in all, the project will have an exemplary environmental footprint above 94 percent – with heating costs for the area amongst the cheapest in Paris”.

SLA and Biecher Architectes were awarded the project after winning a design competition – the third such competition win in Paris for SLA. They worked with Emerige and OGIC for Espaces Ferroviaires, SNCF Real Estate and the city of Paris to design the development. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024.



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