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Contemporary ArchitectureIn the Parisian region, the ecology is leading the urban dance and the stars of this new Parisian saga are the architects. Green spaces, HQE habitats, vertical architecture... The singularity of aesthetics, the diversity of opinions and the liberty of expression, prove that there are infinite possibilities in resolving the sustainable=architecture equation.
Of course, you can already be photographed in front of the 'vegetal walls' of the BHV Homme or the Musée du quai Branly, or you can take a long walk along the Coulée verte, a river of gardens running from the Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes. Paris also reserves other architectural surprises...
The greatest names in contemporary architecture are already at work, defining the sustainable face of architecture, while exploring new technical and aesthetic paths. First visual shock: invasion of the « urban prairies ». For example, in a few years, the heart of the capital will be transformed into an immense garden (4.3 hectares), called 'The Canopy', with the renovation project of the Forum des Halles.
The borders of the city will not be at rest, for the numerous ZAC (urban renewal zones) projects are already underway. Their ecological vocation is of course the priority, like in the areas of Batignolles and Saint-Denis. The idea is to create a link between commercial places and green spaces, always in an effort to reduce toxic carbon emissions.
Another project along the same lines that will soon be finished: the former brick bus-stop at Maraîchers, in the 20th district, will be replaced by a futuristic vessel that will house offices and schools. The heart of the building will be decorated by a hanging garden. The HQE housing projects are also in development on the periphery - « Rives de Parc », ZAC Ile Seguin-Rives de Seine, Boulogne-Billancourt (92) or even the Fréquel area and the rue Fontarabie - Paris (20th).
The hotel sector is also shining with bright new architectural projects in view. The 'Park Inn' and the 'Three-Star Ecolo' by Dominique Perrault, to be inaugurated in the ZAC at the Porte des Lilas, in 201. The suburbs are not at ease either, since the camping 'Huttopia', located at Rambouillet and Versailles, proposes original sleeping arrangements: Canadian tents, bohemian wagons, wooden cabins... enough to make you feel like a child again!
The major aesthetic shock of the future (near 2010) will take place on the periphery of Paris and will show off a vertically dramatic architecture. One of the pioneer's of this kind, the district of La Défense patiently awaits delivery of a Tour Signal, a highly innovative technical creation by the master, Jean Nouvel. Another model of sustainable development is la Tour Phare de La Défense. Signed by the Californian, Thom Mayne, the tower will be the tallest in the Parisian region, 300 metres high. Elsewhere, the professional places will be more and more impressive: in Issy-les-Moulineaux, the project « Heart of the City », imagined by the architect Jacques Ferrier, responds with aplomb to its neighbour « Galeo » by Christian de Portzamparc, where the totality of the terraces are planted!
Finally, for the love of art, the international prize for sustainable architecture, created by the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine and EPAMSA, recompenses each year an architect engaged in the research of a contemporary and ecological architecture. The prize will finance the construction of a 'Glass House', signed by the winner, in a Parisian suburb (this years winner is the Austrian, Hermann Kaufmann). Meanwhile, you can admire the beautiful facade of the Maison 14 in the 19th district. At 16, place Denfert-Rochereau, the first ecological home in Paris - still in construction - will integrate all of the principles of the HQE (High Quality Environment). Climatic greenhouse, wooden structure, solar panels: this house offers a synthesis of technologies and cutting-edge concepts that respect the environment. One thing is certain when you look at the work: the sustainable architects have a common philosophy to combine intelligent technology with beauty and pleasure.