The Stock Market, the Garden, the Canopy and also the Pompidou Center are aligned on an east-west axis. This urban configuration, thus acknowledged, parallel to the Seine and the rue de Rivoli, extends the symbolic dimension of Les Halles. By combining all these effects and layouts, the idea of another scale for architecture is initiated: that of the “Gate of Greater Paris”.
Ascent into Paris The creation of a vast vertical and sheltered public space
The canopy is the realization of a sheltered and designed public space representing the “ascent into Paris” from the underground.this unique space, on an urban scale, spans 140 m in length and 80 m in breadth and 24 m in height under the envelope. the volume is half-excavated, half exposed and culminating 14 m above ground.
The interior of this new space provides several public levels in a terraced arrangement, united by stairways which animate and create a continuous linkage between the underground architecture, the cultural amenities created above, and the garden and the surrounding neighborhood.
This public vertical space is an urban milieu conceived for the center of Paris, with its intensity of life as seen in interpersonal exchanges and fluid transitions. It’s a space whose door is “ajar”, airy and bathed in ample diffused light by means of its glass envelope, designed to create a comfortable and durable microclimate without excessive energy consumption.
A work with a 96 m wingspan A built sign The architecture of the canopy consists of two wings north and south, each with three levels, and a work of art in the clearing that shelters the central area, a public space as described below.
The “ascent toward Paris” opens out toward the west and the garden, on the side where the architecture presents a monumental work of 96 m in breadth. The unified concept of the envelope, 2.5 ha, in monochrome glass reinforces the idea of a Gate of Paris that symbolically represents the urban reality of the site.
A Parisian site reoriented by an east-West perspective The siting underlines and accentuates the east-West perspective between the Pompidou center and the stock exchange. the site has been totally reoriented, paralleling the seine.
The siting and the contour of the volumes are important as much for their usefulness as well as for the link they create between the architecture and the city: the architecture is the “instrument” for reorienting the site on an east/West axis and to make this perceptible to the public.
The work built on the ground is divided into two wings : one north and one south, to accentuate not only the perspective but also the traffic patterns and the continuity newly restored.
USES OF LA CANOPEE Under the Canopy, there is an ensemble of applications, on 6 of the levels, this isimmediately perceptible: the 3 levels of the commercial center below, 2 levels of cultural amenities above, and shops on the ground floor. Here, one experiences a global, unified space, animated by people milling about: in the gallery, terraces,escalators, the deployment of terraces, with a public floor extending along that of the street. It is a central space that welcomes social interactions linked with cultural programs mutually supporting one another
A cultural center, point of mutually supportive programs
The canopy covers 14 000 m2 of cultural amenities in the north wing, making possible new musical and artistic presentations by emerging urban performers (mediatheque La Fontaine, La Place, house of amateur artists) and, in the south wing, the W. a.Mozart musical conservatory.
The plan presents various traffic patterns
Comfort and clear awareness of traffic patterns in the central space is enhanced in the main area, distributed in a north-south perspective : - One hall traversing the ground floor leads into an ellipsoidal staircase which opens, on the first floor, into a large public gallery, opening on one side to the conservatory and mediatheque’s major spaces, and on the other side, the central plaza. From all sides, the interior and exterior traffic is visible to each floor. - two signature rooms are found at the end of each gallery, on the first floor, on the garden: • the La Fontaine mediatheque lecture hall at the north, and • the grand chamber music hall of the conservatory at the south - on the ground-garden level are two large cafes overlooking the garden
The movements of people design the space the passage of the Canopy The ground floor houses 6 000 m2 of commercial spaces. The flowpaths design the contours of the volumes. People circulate all around the canopy: the shop windows accompany the movement of the passersby. Glass marquees protect the strollers on rue rambuteau, rue Lescot and rue Berger. the restructuring of the entrance plaza, the reorganization of the ground floor, the “ascent into Paris” and the rubbing-shoulders of different social elements brought together by the diverse programming make a passage through the canopy a vertical and horizontal crossroads in the metropole.