A pictorial review

Besides being a complex territorial development with an uncertain perimeter on the scales of distant times, the “Grand Paris” is also synonym for an emerging metropolitan consciousness. On this blog we will collect representations of an evolving territory with the use of photos, snapshots and urban promenades – testimonies of a visual culture which is starting to become more visible in public space. We inquire the “Grand Paris” from its graphic production in order to understand it better.

10 | 09 | 2013

Instant Crush

Every day 41 million journeys are made in Greater Paris. Despite the daily difficulties of reaching the final destination in a mostly overcrowded transport, a totally different kind of advantage can be found: the high probability of a hasty eye contact with another passenger. In some large cities this daily distraction involving the latent hope to find love in the subway, created a veritable buzz on the internet, ultimately generating dedicated websites on which pictures of anonymous people are posted (often without their knowledge, as it’s e.g. the case for TubeCrush in London). An of course more romantic variation of this format is to be found in Paris, and for once, the true extent of the metropolis has not been overlooked. “Croisé dans le metro” (Crossed in the subway) allows people who had a shy encounter in the subway, but also all regional trains, to post messages in hope to find again the person they lost in the crowd of the metropolis. Curiously, the jargon of these messages is highly homogeneous, being overly poetic and pragmatically descriptive at once. Pierre JdlF used the metadata generated by 4375 ads to map their locations and descriptions. 

Links: Croisé dans le métro (Crossed in the subway)Dis-moi où tu me plais (Tell me where I like you)Instant Crush
06 | 09 | 2013


According to the first survey of the "Observatory of land and property markets in the vicinity of the Greater Paris stations," the Grand Paris Express is not causing any real estate speculation around its future stations. This unexpected result is based on the comparison of the areas of “direct attraction” between the years 2006 and 2011, measured in circles of 800 meters radius  (a pedestrian walk of 15 minutes) around each of the 72 stations: "If prices have increased in those areas by 30% in five years, during the same period they have augmented by 35% in the Ile de France region and by 30% within the Inner Ring." Remains to be seen if the announcement of the final route, confirmed by the Ayrault Cabinet in March 2013, may have had an impact on the prices of the Greater Paris real estate market. According to Le Monde, the next steering committee of the Observatory will be held in late 2013.

Liens : Bulletin No. 1 of the Observatory, Le Monde, Grand Paris Express
26 | 07 | 2013

Leaving Paris

Although most Parisians claim that august is the most pleasant month to spend in the capital, the same people are most probably out of town during the entirety of this month. For those forced to stay and work between heat waves, thunderstorms, hunts for an opened bakery and muggy metro rides, the regional express network RER could for once be the door to some more pleasant destinations. The offer of the Stif to extend the validity of the Navigo pass on the entire public transport network of the region during weekends and public holidays, has been extended to the entirety of the week from the 13th of July to the 18th of August. For those who are undecided where to go, the municipality of Paris has collected the locations of regional swimming pools and the region presents its outdoor leisure offers of more than 3000 hectares of green and water on a dedicated homepage. Finally also we have recommendation: the guided visits of the Désert de Retz, for which reservations can be made at the municipality of Chambourcy.

Links : Regional swimming pools, Regional outdoor parks, Désert de Retz
09 | 07 | 2013

43 films

The Atelier International de Grand Paris (AIGP) has presented during “The week of Greater Paris” 43 unedited films, realised by the 15 teams of its scientific council based on their work on the theme "Living in Greater Paris". These films reflect in various forms the views and reflections of the teams around the six major topics of the exhibition. "The device Hôtel Métropole" directed by DPA, is part of the loop "Lifestyles and typologies" that aims to answer the question which new forms of living can meet the expectations of the Greater Parisians. Special thanks to Richard Copans who patiently advised us on several occasions on how to translate our project into this format.

Links: The device “Hôtel Métropole”, The complete movie collection, The week of Greater Paris
02 | 07 | 2013


Being generally more focused on the events of extramural Paris, we for once allow ourselves to look at intramural Paris by doing so trough a very blurred regard. Our colleague Francesco Vinci visited the known imaginary of Paris and photographed it through his spectacles (−2.50 dioptres). The result is a “short-sighted”, but surprisingly recognisable, selection of Paris’ most popular postcard motifs.

Links: Myopia by Francesco Vinci, Stadtbilder by Gerhard Richter, Unscharf at the Hamburger Kunsthalle
21 | 06 | 2013

Exhibition "Habiter le Grand Paris"

1-7 July 2013 / Le Centquatre, Paris

Where? When? How? What and for whom?
The week of the Atelier International du Grand Paris under the patronage of Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister of France

Faced with sensitive questions regarding the future of Greater Paris, the 15 multidisciplinary teams of architects, planners and researchers that constitute the scientific council of the Atelier International du Grand Paris, will present the results of their research, analyses and proposals at the cultural institute “Centquatre”. These reflections, which will also be published in form of a book, are trying to answer to the metropolitan issues and challenges of quantitative and qualitative housing developments and ways of living in Greater Paris.

from July 1 to 7:

An exhibition at the Centquatre organized around the short films produced by the fifteen teams of the AIGP, as well as the journey in Greater Paris of three photographers of Magnum Photos: Patrick Zachmann, Mark Power and Olivia Arthur.

1-7 July 2013 from 9:30 to 19h
CENTQUATRE, 5 rue Curial, 75019 Paris. M ° Riquet, Line 7
free admission

Links : Programmation 104, Études du conseil scientifique, Intervention DPA lors du séminaire "Habiter le Grand Paris"
13 | 06 | 2013

Imaginary of Greater Paris

The imaginary of Paris, and in a less evident way also the one of its suburbs, has long been the suggestive background for plots and narratives evolving on its overcrowded streets. With a range of works between documentary and fantasy, the “Imaginaire du Grand Paris” series presents selected works of French directors which stories reach also beyond the well-known central parts of the city. These allegorical, tragic or humoristic movies manage to display how complex and diverse the everyday life of the “Grand Parisians” is. The opportunity to discover these unexpected views on the city is given from the 2nd to the 28th of July at the Forum des Images in Les Halles.

Links : Imaginaire du Grand Paris, Ile de France Film Commission, Hollywood-sur-Seine
17 | 05 | 2013


Jack Bauer is back. But while the fans of "24" are celebrating the recent news of the CTU agent’s return for a gruelling ninth season of the flagship series of the 2000s, also the Grand Paris launches a first series of events with the same challenge on its territory. "La Grande Ville 24h Chrono" will start at 4PM on Friday the 31st of May, and finish precisely 24 hours later on Saturday the 1st of June at 4PM. It consists of a series of events that are staged, among other places, in Saclay, Roissy, Rungis, La Courneuve, Saint-Denis and the Confluence Seine-Oise. The joint venture of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, and the Atelier International du Grand Paris, is defined as an “action-research” program, at the intersection of works by architects, researchers, urban planners, landscape architects, artists working on spot, guided by local agents. The ambition is to mobilize in parallel the general public and the local inhabitants of the different sites.

Links : La grande ville 24 heures chrono, The New York Times, LB Design graphique

06 | 05 | 2013

Grand Paris at night

A few years ago The New York Times and Le Monde were declaring the death of clubbing in Paris. It was a dark moment for a city that, with names like Laurent Garnier, Daft Punk, Air, Cassius and Justice, has at times stood alongside London, New York and Berlin as one of the capitals of electronic music. But things were already changing at the time those articles have been written. Promoters, like “Die Nacht”, have started devoting themself to find unlikely spaces for their events. Finally partygoers began traveling to the suburbs, in search of a good time beyond the Paris Périphérique. It's this shift in attitude that brought “Real Scenes” to dedicate one of the editions of their series to Paris. Also the Pavillon de l’Arsenal is about to present its nocturnal chronicles, starting from May 23, in an exhibition called “Paris la nuit”.

Links :
Real ScenesDie NachtParis La Nuit

22 | 04 | 2013

Living in Greater Paris

Dominique Perrault, together with the other fourteen teams of the scientific council, has presented a first reflection on “Living in Greater Paris” at the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale Universitaire on March 22, and at a press conference at the Atelier International du Grand Paris situated at the Palais de Tokyo on April 19. The proposed device of the “Hotel Metropole” is the result of various reflections on the metropolis: the acknowledgment that the metropolis is not the city, the analysis and formalization of new ways of living, the “tensioning” of the existing and the ambition to elaborate a tool that can accompany the metropolitan fact with both urgency and precaution. In terms of resources the “Hotel Metropole” is a minimalist scheme that installs itself on available ground, which may be awaiting its transformation, allowing to test the potential of its fabric and trying to infiltrate urbanity with a certain smoothness rather than imposing a priori a predefined urban model.

25 | 03 | 2013

Gastronomic derive in Greater Paris

Following the chase for the "the perfect Burger", the new hype in Paris is the hunt after the food truck. All over 2012 the mobile canteens have managed to mobilize Parisians to try the gastro-bobo reinvention of street food. After bistronomy and fusion food, the new culinary laboratory is located in the backside of the numerous food trucks. From restaurant guides like Le Fooding to Instagram, the local press to social networks, the motorized kitchens have invaded the capital. The Camion qui fume, Cantine California or Goody's have seen many follow-ups. But while the approximately ten current foodtrucks continue to dispute between themselves the intra-muros territory of Paris, a new truck promotes itself with a more metropolitan derive on the scale of Greater Paris: the Caravane Dorée “rolls its carriage outside the boundaries of the Boulevard Périphérique to install itself in the neighbourhoods of Greater Paris, targeting sites that are underserved, in construction, or in evolution – there were the proximity offer is still low."

Links : Caravane Dorée, NY Times, Le Fooding

08 | 03 | 2013

The New Grand Paris

After the speech of French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault the 6th of march, the government recommitted itself to build the Grand Paris Express. In general not much appeared to have changed regarding the future transport plan of the “Nouveau Grand Paris” : things will be slower (completion by 2030), more expensive (+€6 billion) and for the time being the 8-shaped layout turns into a gigantic 9, the connection between Versailles and Nanterre will arrive only after 2030 (or not at all). The detail that however brings this new edition of the plan closer to reality is that the previously denominated green, red and orange lines are repartitioned and renamed based on the Parisian metro line numeration: 14 (which is already operational and planned to be extended), 15, 16 , 17 and 18. And although most Métro lines already left their intra-muros exclusivity behind decades ago, for the first time we will see 4 new lines that are exclusively outside the Boulevard Périphérique.

Links : Nouveau Grand Paris, GPE, Le Nouveau Grand Paris et le logement
15 | 02 | 2013

The unofficial "Navigo dézoné" guidebook

Since September of last year, owners of the Navigo smart card are allowed to use their pass on all public transport in Île-de-France during weekends, regardless to the zone they have subscribed. Besides the economic advantage for the user, the opportunities are countless – the Atelier international du Grand Paris just collected over 1000 places of interest outside Paris. The however only guide book (as far as we know) based on public transport and a one-hour isochrone from Paris is written by Annabel Simms, an English journalist living in Paris. “An Hour from Paris” ignores all intra-muros highlights, bypasses Versailles and Fontainebleau, to finally lead the user to surprisingly idyllic residential islands in Creteil (Île Sainte-Catherine) or the Museum of the Renaissance, hidden in a dense forest under the air corridor of Charles de Gaulle Airport (Forêt d'Écouen).

Links : Navigo dezoné, An Hour from Paris, 1000lieux
07 | 02 | 2013


While the expansion of the transport network is at the heart of the metropolitan project, it also is accompanied by the emerging of new practises. Since six months Paris’ public transport operator RATP communicates in real time to  social networks its very own network status (accounts have been created for RER A, six metro lines and two tramways) to more than 15,000 users. By mixing practical information and good advises, the ambition of the created metadata is to shorten the gap between user and operator.

Links : RATP, RER A, Trafic
29 | 01 | 2013


The contracts for spatial development (CDT’s) constitute the second pillar of the Grand Paris next to its transport scheme. Established in June 2010 by the law on Greater Paris, they introduce a new format for contracts between the state and communities. Organised as clusters around the transport scheme of the Grand Paris Express, the approximately twenty contracts for spatial development are the first operational links of the ambitions for Greater Paris. As such, they are submitted for advise to the Atelier International du Grand Paris (AIGP).

Links : IAU îdF, LOI n° 2010-597, AIGP
28 | 01 | 2013


Over the last weeks a new mysterious acronym has joined the numerous abbreviations that are directly or indirectly generated by the Grand Paris (CDT, OIN, GPE, TIM, SDT, TOL, etc.): the RTT. What already has been known as “Réduction du Temps de Travail” (working-time reduction) has been redefined as “Réduction du Temps de Trajet” (travel-time reduction) for a campaign publicising the extension of the tramway lines 1, 2 and 3. The initiator of this wordplay, the Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France (STIF), is thereby emphasizing the main advantage for its users: time saving.

Links : RTT, STIF, T3
25 | 01 | 2013

Work in process

New Offices, New Practices

Exhibition at Le Pavillon de l'Arsenal until March 17, 2013

Greater Paris has over fifty million square meters of office space. Whether towers, campuses, renovated buildings or massive reconversions, places of great renown or highly opaque, these places constitute the architecture of our everyday lives. The exhibition and book “Work in Process – New Offices, New Practices” by the Pavillon de l'Arsenal, explores the most emblematic projects developed since 1900, analysing the social, environmental, economic and urban concerns that they bring into play by ultimately drawing up a whole new map of Greater Paris.
The architecture office BuildingBuilding of Thomas Raynaud has transformed the first floor of the Pavillon de l'Arsenal into an open plan of 600 m², where also two projects by DPA are featured: the Citylights towers in Pont de Sèvres (scheduled for completion in July 2015) and Aurélium, an office building in Boulogne - Billancourt (2009).

Links : Pavillon de l'Arsenal, Work in Process Press releaseBuildingBuilding

21 | 01 | 2013


We are starting this new DPA blog with the revision of the Schéma directeur de la Région Île-de-France (SDRIF), completed the 25th October 2012. Inevitably also accompanied by controversies (not only because of the tree house on its cover), this revision of the 1994 edition of the last SDRIF incorporates the results of the 2008/2009 international consultation for the “Grand Pari(s)”, the target set for 70.000 new housing units per year, and the various “Grenelle” plans (which define key points of public policy on ecological and sustainable development issues) adopted since 2008. The public inquiry of the new SDRIF is scheduled for 2013, its approval for end of the same year.

Links : SDRIF, Île-de-France, CDT