Architecture for Saint-Denis
The project takes place in Saint-Denis (North of Paris), where landscapes are mixed, abandoned, and organized by railways. « The cathedrals of rail » ( « Les Cathédrales du Rail ») stay in the middle of this, since 150 years. This nickname comes from its beautiful concrete vaults, up to 18 meters high, which are perceptibles from the ring-road of Paris. The monument represent more than 5000 quater meters, which was functional in the XIXe century for the reparation and the washing of the locomotives. This building is actually a landmark in the landscape of the northern Paris area, like a suspending roof above the railway land. However, this building breaks the link between spaces, required some detours, creating dead-ends, and also disrupting the logic of the district. The idea of this project is to transform this place as a big link, an unifying platform through different architecture applications (the urbanistic way to the interior architecture one). The program takes its inspiration from the residents and their needs but also from the big project of the ‘Grand Paris’. Saint-Denis is defined as the territory of the culture and the creation of Paris, that’s why the present building follow the same dynamic. Close to two schools, public housings, business incubators, different shops, a high school specializing in mechanical and industrial programs, and more, the idea was to create a little piece of a district, at least the continuity. The ground floor is actually the extension of the city, creating new streets, new links between different infrastructures, but also a simple crossing, to get the beautiful railway landscape, a breath into the density of the city. Different programs like a bar, a place for exhibitions, or a book market are taking places in the ground floor. Two streets and a giant forum organized them. They are always connected with the other floors (a big library for children in the first floor and an other one specialized in industrial and artistic fields close to the vaults) thanks to trays openings…If we are walking in the street, we can see the libraries, enter in, be like in there just one minute or much longer, meet all the neighborhood, and cross this building whenever we want and whoever we are…Everything is connected and opened in the same time. We are definitely in a ‘cultural interface’.
To read more : Intention Note
City: Plaine Commune, Saint-Denis