A team led by Bouygues Immobilier UrbanEra—the communities development arm of Bouygues Group— including Skidmore Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM), architects-urbanists-landscape designers Ateliers 2/3/4/, multidisciplinary practice AREP Group, and community think tank Le Grand Reservoir, has been selected by the Ville de Charenton and Grand Paris Amenagement as the preferred development team for the Charenton-Bercy project on the eastern edge of Paris. Launching this week at MIPIM, the project is one of 52 government initiatives on the outskirts of Paris that collectively make up the Grand Paris development plan for the wider metropolis.
“The SOM and Ateliers 2/3/4/ plan delivers a significant new identity for Charenton-Bercy,” stated Emmanuel Desmaizieres, CEO of Bouygues Immobilier UrbanEra. “The plan builds upon Grand Paris Amenagement’s goals of linking Central Paris to its suburban neighbors.”
Established as part of the developer bid process, the SOM-led master plan proposes a highly connected urban district incorporating a 180-meter-tall, net-zero-energy hotel and residential tower, and a contemporary circular building that will form the heart of a new virtual reality tech hub for the city. “In scripting the overall master plan, we saw our role as bringing a fresh perspective from an international point of view, refined in close collaboration with our local team to provide a sensitive integration within the existing community,” said SOM Director Daniel Ringelstein.
“The plan extends local street Rue Baron-Le-Roy into the site to create a Paris-Charenton commercial linkage,” added Florian Luneau of architectural practice Ateliers 2/3/4/. “In addition to this, a landscaped garden bridge over active railway tracks connects people in the local area from the Bois de Vincennes to the River Seine.”
At the heart of the redevelopment, the highly sustainable tower sits at the intersection of three key circulation routes established by the master plan. The tower is carefully integrated into the development at ground level, with a new plaza creating urban life for Charenton while providing a human scale. The tower also creates a new model for living in Paris, with loft-like apartments fronting suspended gardens high above the street. “As part of a wider environmental strategy, the tower at Charenton-Bercy will become one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe,” said SOM Associate Director Yasemin Kologlu.
In dialogue with the tower, a circular building, Neo, is proposed, which will form the heart of a new digital hub for eastern Paris. Designed to respond to its 360-degree context, the timber frame building is raised on two sides to create a public courtyard and an open view to the Seine. An interactive facade will animate the building and reveal the innovative virtual reality work occurring within.
About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Europe) LLP
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Europe) LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with nearly 2,000 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Mumbai.
About Bouygues Immobilier UrbanEra®
Drawing on its expertise and a commitment to sustainable property development that started over 10 years ago, with UrbanEra® Bouygues Immobilier works alongside local authorities to help them design sustainable and smart neighbourhoods. Taking a thoroughly integrated and intergenerational approach to function and use, such neighbourhoods will also foster innovation and sharing. The underlying principle is to find solutions that suit the local context and offer ever-better quality of life and comfort to all our customers, whether local authorities, residents, workers, tourists, visitors or students.
We believe that a major transformation is taking place in the property development business, which is scaling up from single buildings to whole neighborhoods. Now we have to bring together the right resources and the best partners in order to prepare for forthcoming technological, economic, demographic and environmental changes and coordinate community life in those neighborhoods over the long term.
UrbanEra® offers a premium quality approach based on six key pillars for the design of a future eco-neighborhood. Via UrbanEra®, Bouygues Immobilier draws on the experience of an Urban Projects division to bring together outside partners, including companies, start-ups, non-profit organisations and residents, in order to develop mixed and sustainable neighbourhoods.
As an urban developer-operator capable of overseeing complex development projects and coordinating all those involved in order to guarantee effective long-term outcomes, Bouygues Immobilier uses its skills and expertise to ensure an adaptable, resource-friendly and desirable urban environment.