A new 80-hectare cultural and commercial development in Paris will see the development of a sustainable community that emphasises diversity, culture and the European urban experience.
Designed by a consortium that includes the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Tess, Base, Transitec and Michael Forgue, the project concerns the Gonesse Triangle, which serves the greater Paris and Roissy regions, and will link up national and metro railway lines.
BIG founding partner Bjarke Ingels says EuropaCity will be an experimental project including a mix of urbanism and landscape design. The development will blend rural and urban spaces, with a recreational landscape of rolling hills mixed with a neighbourhood of parks, plazas and community streets.
The project will include space for shopping, cultural activities, restaurants, housing and offices. A ski slope and a pool are meant to operate in sync to provide an efficient heating and cooling exchange system.
BIG created a highly sustainable design for the area which encourages the use of pushbikes and public transport. Once completed, the city should serve as a model of sustainability, providing all the efficiencies of an urban area with the health benefits of country life.
A green roof will span the 80-hectare development, further encouraging walking while offering views of the Parisian skyline. The roof will also provide insulation and harvest rainwater for use in the city.
Agriculture is at the heart of the project and fields will be located close to the city centre. EuropaCity will encourage residents to become involved with urban farming projects on site and individuals can purchase their own plots of land for private cultivation.
Waste water from the community will be recycled and used for on-site agriculture. By encouraging localised production and consumption, the facility will create biofuels to be used for powering the facility.
The facility is designed to be powered by solar, geothermal and biofuel energy as part of a design program outlining EuropaCity as “a laboratory for sustainable technologies and a showcase for viable green tech implementations that does not only save energy, but also improves the quality of the urban environment.”
“We find that Paris these years is taking on a holistic effort to ensure that the urban periphery is given equal opportunity to be as lively and inhabitable as its historic centre. EuropaCity will be an important step in this agenda,” Ingels says.
The project aims to create a fused urbanity as opposed to extending the existing rural landscape. Using both planned and unplanned points of interaction, the design aims to blend work with play, and indoor life with outdoor life.