Referring to my recent post about great changes in the occupation of part of the 13th arrondissement, in the area of the new National Library (Bibliothèque François Mitterrand), I talked about a mixture of new buildings and transformed old industrial buildings. One old industrial building has resisted.
This building dates from 1921 and served until the 1960’s as a refrigerated storage. It was actually a big “fridge” with railway connections. It goes under the name “Les Frigos”. The State Railways (SNCF) took over the premises just after WWII and they now belong to the City of Paris. There were plans of demolition in the 1980’s, but finally the building is still there and it’s since occupied by some 200 artist workshops.
Despite the looks, as well outside….
…. as inside….
…. the premises actually offer a number of good workshops, music studios, architect offices… for all kinds of artistic work; the old thick walls offer a perfect isolation. Originally squatted, the occupants today work with formal contracts, pay a rent…
Once a year, normally end May, there are “open doors”. I just visited like that, without going into the different workshops.