Council for European Urbanism Analyzes Paris High-Rise Proposals

David Brussat, architecture critic for the Providence, RI, Journal, describes a new report from the Council for European Urbanism, which finds that the high-rises planned for Paris will not live up to their promises.
April 2, 2012, 5am PDT | Anonymous
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President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed a "Grand Paris 2030" plan, with 10 international celebrity architects picked to design major projects, mostly skyscrapers. Mayor Bertrand Delanoë and the Paris city council have proposed three modernist skyscraper projects, with others in the wings.

The CEU White Paper on Three Paris Projects lays waste to the mayor's three projects, and by extension the president's 10, says Brussat.

According to the author, "Each of the projects relies on economic estimates already rendered moot by Europe's sovereign-debt crisis. They embrace green technologies that would spend years "swimming upstream" against the CO2 emitted to build them in the first place."

He concludes that, "All three barely disguise the glee by which they shred the beauty of Paris's fabric, stomping on an urbanism spontaneously efficient in ways Parisians understand instinctively."

One wonders, however, if Brussat's argument could have benefited from a counter-proposal for where to house the needed office and residential space so tightly curtailed by the historic city's ardent defenders.

Thanks to Charles Siegel

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Published on Thursday, March 29, 2012 in Providence Journal
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