Paris is justifiably recognised as a city where multiple programs occupy the same space in the city at a very high density. It creates an urban environment of great vibrancy, energy and enterprise. This intensity of activity does not always extend to the city’s surrounds where program has been applied to larger districts or blocks in line with 20th Century urban planning principles.
Pantin is an example of many formerly industrial areas that are changing dramatically as new residents and entrepreneurs move in. Its location also provides an opportunity for creating a new bridge/ connection/ threshold between the city of Paris and its surrounding districts that could act as a model for other areas.
Inspired by traditional Asian cities and in particular the old city of Ahmedabad in India – where making and living exist in extraordinarily close proximity – we are proposing a new model for de-industrialised neighbourhoods where the spaces for making and living are closely integrated.
This new model places equal importance on the spaces of making and living: giving each a distinct identity. It recognises that healthy and vibrant cities allow for different activities to take place within close proximity whilst suitably separated to minimise inconvenience.
Choreographed around an urban plan that defines new axes/ spines/ parks connecting Pantin better to Paris and other neighbouring districts, we propose a series of yards and working spaces focused on different aspects of making and production.
These yards are complemented with residential/ urban spaces as well as areas of re-greening/ planting that soften the boundaries to infrastructure and between programs.
This re-greening references Pantin’s historic character as an area of orchards and agriculture through the use of fruit trees and the introduction of allotments.