3.5.12

"Paris Rive Gauche"


When you talk about “Paris Rive Gauche” you may more immediately rather think about the Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain-des-Prés… The name is however also linked to a project which was started during the 1990’s concerning an area in the south eastern parts of Paris which used to be mainly industrial. The starting point was the creation of the new National Library (Bibliothèque François Mitterrand) with its four “towers”… and a lot of activity underground. The area concerned is situated between the rail tracks to the Gare d’Austerlitz (see previous post) and the Seine. The rail tracks will obviously one day be more or less covered. Along the rail tracks, there is an old storage space, “Halle de Freysinnet” (named after the inventor of “prestressed concrete”), which was condemned to demolition, but now finally will be preserved as an historical landmark. It’s already today used for expositions, fashion shows… (see previous post).




Since the 1990’s, the renovation of the area is thus ongoing. Architects have had a lot of freedom to create. Today there is a mixture of residence, office and institutional buildings.





Some of the old industrial buildings have survived and have been transformed as e.g. a former flour-mill and store, “Grands Moulins de Paris”, now occupied by different university activities, …


… “Distribution d’Air Comprimé” which manufactured compressed air and now is occupied by a school of architecture.


A more particular old cold storage is also still there, but is today used in a different way. I will revert on that place in a special post.

The construction work is not finished. 


It was a fresh, windy and rainy November April day when I walked around. The café terraces were desperately empty. 

16 comments:

martinealison said...

Des photos magnifiques d'un ensemble qui devrait être beau, mais qui en toute franchise ne m'inspire pas beaucoup... En revanche j'espère que la douceur du soleil va très vite revenir pour profiter de ces belles terrasses de cafés...
Gros bisous

Olivier said...

belle promenade, et j'aime surtout la vieille usine

Pierre BOYER said...

Merci...
Bonne kournée,

Pierre

ALAIN said...

Il a été question d'y construire un nouveau "palais de justice", mais je ne sais si c'est toujours d'actualité.

hpy said...

Without the cafés Paris wouldn't be Paris anymore.

Cezar and Léia said...

Dear Peter,
Thanks so much for your nice comment, your words always bring to me smiles and good energies.
I love the way you prepared your collages, the pictures are beautiful.I like this mix of modern and old buildings.I like modern architecture,it reminds me São Paulo - Brazil, with those massive buildings and so on, it's normal for a big city, but I also like the romantic architecture around here and mainly in Paris.
bisous
Léia

claude said...

Heureusement qu'on préserve encore et quand même certains bâtiments anciens !

Synne said...

I like how Paris has so many drifferent faces! This area is not what one associates with the typically parisian look, but it's still pretty!

Studio at the Farm said...

Hi Peter. I do like the integration of the old "Distribution d'Air Comprime" building with the new. I see your "spring" is as winter-like as ours right now.

Starman said...

The apartment we've rented faces the BNF. We very much like that area of the city.

Peter (the other) said...

The ability to envisage such a large re-developement, the willingness to expend finances (during the grand recession) and the perseverance to see it all through, seems a mark of a great civilization. If have heard local grumbling about the removal of the old SNCF worker's homes by Gare d'Austerlitz, and the gentrification in general, all of this work may someday really amount to something. And still, from time to time there are places built with the best of intent and taste, that the general public unconsciously resist. I sometimes worry that these large open spaces at the base of the towers attract the harsher meteorological elements, making it hard for such a large collection of buildings to grow a "village."

We shall see... it may become one of those areas that are deserted on week-ends.

Cergie said...

Nous passons souvent en voiture du coté du Grand Stade de France et les bâtiments industriels disparaissent au profit d'immeubles de bureaux peu harmonieux. Le tissu urbain peu à peu se gangrène.
Les grands moulins sont magnifiques et heureusement préservés.

Anonymous said...

La llegada desde la Costa Azul a la Estación de Austerlitz siempre es desalentadora para mi por culpa de sus alrededores. Me parece tan poco atractiva esa parte de Paris...
Cuestión de gustos ¿no?

Las fotos son bellísimas, sobre todo la primera.
Mil gracias por tan interesante artículo.
Maria

Virginia said...

Ahhh a look a an area that most of us are not as familiar with in Paris. Very interesting post Peter. I hope the weather has improved and you are enjoying the cafés again! :)
Bon weekend,
V

lasiate said...

je n'aime pas ces quartiers de verre et de lignes si peu naturels ! heureusement encore qqs vieux bâtiments!
une belle série

Shammickite said...

I'm sure that this area will become a very trendy area to live, work and go to college. And eat in the open air cafes, of course.