Paris: Rive Gauche

Scheme: Rive GaucheCity: Paris | Master Client: SEMAPA | Masterplan Architects: Roland Schweitzer (Tolbiac quarter), Pierre Gangnet (Tolbiac-Chevaleret quarter), Christian de Porzamparc (Massena quarter), Bruno Fortier (Rue du Chevaleret), Paul Andreu (Avenue de France)

Resident feedback: not available


My re-visit to this railway-regen 132 hectare area of Paris was disappointing. The early richly textured housing around the Grands Moulins park is still looking great (green on the plan above), with touches of humour and frankly some madness on elevation. And the fabric is 12 storeys, not a bulk people associate with Paris. I enjoyed the gold elevations, large plant pots (a cliché now but the first I ever saw!) and the elevational variety. The downfall comes later (blue and purple), with the inevitable later transition to Euro-architecture – puffed up and over-egged apartment monoliths whose cladding looks at once glitzy and cheap. Previous elevational amusement descends into downpipe and lamp-post farce. Is this the future?