Paris 14e
    Shopping gallery
    2 000 sqm
    €3 M excl. VAT

In presenting his project for the Parc de La Villette, Bernard Tschumi imagined a series of “follies” laid out across the urban territory in a regular square grid, going so far as to suggest that such an approach could take on a life of its own and spread like wildfire throughout the entire city… This is the oneiric idea of urban development to which our project is designed to pay homage by providing a continuation of a dream. The entrance to the Galerie Gaîté shopping centre could certainly be described as a red “folly”, a geometric, intertwining play of volumes. A cone meets a glass dihedral, with, at their intersection, an inclined elliptical glass canopy standing before the gallery entrance. Folly lasts for a limited amount of time… The shopping gallery is destined to be demolished. Describing it here serves as a kind of pre-posthumous homage. Indeed, it is necessary to have known the shopping centre in its previous incarnation to understand the sense of our project. Despite the fact that the surface area of the new construction is not much larger than its forebear, the approach is an urbanistic one aimed at realigning the avenue du Maine by creating an entrance to a shopping centre that did not have one before. The building respects the codes developed by Bernard Tschumi at La Villette: a single colour – carmine red – and a simplicity of form, accompanied by the use of spectacular formal elements. Respecting the wishes of the client, the interior style of the shopping gallery is inscribed in a popular spirit consonant with the centre’s main driver, Tati. We chose a “Pop Art” approach, using bright acid colours, and rich and varied shapes. The floor is in twin-tone cast resin, the blue and green pilasters and walls contrasting with the bright yellow aircraft wing-style posts. The stairwell balustrade is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, the handrail consisting of a 15 centimetre diameter polished sinusoidal steel tube.