Les Halles, Paris, Parisian Building Redevelopment, Architectural Project Design

Les Halles : Paris Building

Urban Development in the French Capital – renewal design proposals

2 Feb 2016

Les Halles Paris Redevelopment

Les Halles Redevelopment

Paris hopes €1bn revamp of Les Halles can become city’s ‘beating heart’

French capital to unveil reworked site crowned with one of the most ambitious architectural projects of the decade, reports The Guardian.

La Canopee’, a curvilinear building inspired by plant life and designed by French architects Jacques Anziutti and Patrick Berger:
Les Halles Paris
photograph : Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images

For 40 years, Paris has carried the shame of an incredible act of architectural self-sabotage. The heart of the city has never fully recovered from the brazen 1970s bulldozing of the magnificent, 19th-century wrought-iron market pavilions at Les Halles and the creation, in their place, of an airless underground transport and shopping complex seen as a monstrous, mirror-glassed carbuncle.

Paris, Forum des Halles, 2009:
Les Halles in Paris
photo by Pavel Krok courtesy Wikimedia Commons

But after decades of cultural spats, protests and political handwringing, the city is finally attempting to make amends. Later this spring, Paris will unveil an entirely reworked Les Halles crowned with one of the most ambitious architectural projects of the decade – a giant, undulating glass roof spanning 2.5 hectares, which hopes to literally put a lid on the problem.

Forum Les Halles de Paris, June 2007:
Forum Les Halles de Paris
photo by Markus Mark courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Website: Les Halles Paris Redevelopment

Les Halles Paris – la Colonne Médicis et la Bourse de Commerce de Paris:
Les Halles Paris Metro
photo Pierre Andre Leclercq courtesy Wikimedia Commons

28 Feb 2011

Les Halles Paris


Les Halles is an area of Paris, France, located in the 1er arrondissement, just south of the fashionable rue Montorgueil.

It is named for the large central wholesale marketplace, which was demolished in 1971.

The wholesale market was relocated to the suburb of Rungis in 1971.

The development gained an underground station for the RER, a network of new express underground lines which was completed in the 1960s. Five metro lines and three suburban train lines now meet at this location.

For several years, the site of the markets was an enormous open pit, nicknamed “le trou des Halles” (trou = hole), regarded as an eyesore at the foot of the historic church of Saint-Eustache.

Construction was completed in 1977 on Châtelet-Les-Halles, Paris’s new urban railway hub.

The Forum des Halles, a partially underground multi-story commercial and shopping center, completed at the end of the seventies, though the (former) Mayor Jacques Chirac only cut the ribbon in 1981.

One of the city’s red-light districts extends along the eastern boundary of the site, along the Rue Saint-Denis.

The development also includes Musée Grévin – a wax museum in the Forum des Halles.

Les Halles History

The area was the traditional central market of Paris. In 1137, Louis VI le Gros created an open air market in the vicinity of the development.

In 1183, King Philippe II Auguste enlarged the marketplace in Paris and built a shelter for the merchants.

In the 1850s, massive glass and iron buildings (by architect Victor Baltard) were constructed. The structure was nicknamed “the belly of Paris” by Emile Zola.

Redevelopment Proposals

Architect: Patrick Berger

A proposal to remake the park was approved in 2004.

Development Model:
Les Halles Paris Model
photo © Rebecca Breun

The development is unpopular partly due to defective and ugly design and partly due to the drug pushers and gangs that hang out in the area.

Redevelopment work has been delayed after a group of residents appealed against the destruction of the much-loved Lalanne garden, a mature garden with around 343 trees.

The current proposals – a vast and undulating glass roof – are designed by French architect Patrick Berger.

Les Halles Shopping Information

open 10am-8pm
every day except Sunday

open 7/7, 24 hours a day

Bars and restaurants
open until 10pm

Forum des Halles
101 Porte Berger
Cidex 274 Paris Cedex 01

tel: 01 44 76 96 56
fax: 01 44 76 96 50

Website: http://en.forumdeshalles.com

Location: Les Halles, 75001 Paris, France

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