here are the five finalist projects of the architecture competition

8:30 pm, September 24, 2022

They are intended to enhance part of the historic axis – designed by Le Nôtre – that crosses Neuilly-sur-Seine (92). By the end of 2024, 19 follies with very contemporary architecture dot, on both sides, the 2 kilometers of avenue Charles-de-Gaulle, between the Porte Maillot (Paris 16th) and the bridge de Neuilly, leading to La Défense. These future pavilions – from 28 to 36 square meters each – will complete the ongoing redevelopment of the road; the task to transform this urban highway into a peaceful way» are scheduled for the same date. “This is a project with high stakes”, warned the mayor, Jean-Christophe Fromantin (DVD).

The city council will present on Tuesday the two winners of the international architectural competition it launched in June 2021 for its 19 follies. JDD announced the five finalists: Manuelle Gautrand, Édouard François, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid Architects and Cortilé (read below). About fifty agencies are operating. Fifteen of them were first selected in the final round. Then five. Specifications for architects include four requirements: “modularity”, “digital hybridization” (integrated technology), “sustainable development dimension”, “aesthetics with wow effect”, summing up the mayor.

The success of the competition is mainly because, he added, on the very axis of history, a “premium location, very busy and very visible, one of the catchment areas with the greatest potential in France”, between the Champs-Élysées and La Défense.

A call for projects for their exploitation

On Tuesday, the mayor will also launch the marketing of these pranks. Jean-Christophe Fromantin is preparing to publish a call for projects for their exploitation aimed at 19 companies, “signs, brands, businesses” or cultural institutions. The tenants – appointed in 2023 – will sign with the City a temporary authorization of occupation (AOT) for the public domain for fifteen years. They will have to bear the cost of the construction, estimated at around 600,000 euros per pavilion – “over fifteen years, it’s cheaper than a small business on the avenue”, said the mayor – and pay a “symbolic fee equal to the cost of maintaining the environment; the aim is not to make money, rather to activate a development lever for Neuilly”.

It’s one thing to fight dark shops, it’s another thing to bring people back to the squares, streets and avenues

The goal is to “to stimulate trade in the city center which is highly competitive with e-commerce”, by developing the “commercial public space”, explained the aedile. “It’s one thing to fight the dark blinds [entrepôts destinés aux livraisons], it is quite another to bring the inhabitants back to the squares, streets and avenues. » The target operation “Companies, especially in the luxury sector, that project themselves into the digital or metaverse, but are also concerned about maintaining direct contact with their customers”, as well as the “pure players [uniquement sur le Web] that sees the limitations of a 100% digital approach; even Amazon is opening stores in the United States.” A third family of stakeholders seeks: museums or foundations, “Louis Vuitton type”. The pavilions will therefore contain pop-up shops, exhibition spaces, event spaces, cafes, etc.

The municipality will undoubtedly be criticized for wanting to privatize public space. Mayor’s answer: “Nineteen constructions of approximately thirty square meters, making 600 square meters, placed on 100,000 square meters [10 hectares] of public space that we redeveloped, one of the largest urban planning operations in France. » Baptized “Allées de Neuilly”, this complete arrangement of Avenue Charles-de-Gaulle provides for the planting of 370 trees (in addition to the 200 existing) and 90,000 shrubs and perennials, creating a 5,000 square meters in front of the Neuilly bridge, the removal of four lanes of car traffic, or even the setting in the opposite direction and the limit to 20 km/h of the service roads.“We need to revitalize these transformed spaces. The pranks will serve as vibrations to move the entire avenue. »

The five finalists:

1. Edouard Francois

(Edouard Francois House)

He thinks of “raw earth, printed in 3D” shenanigans. These will form “intertwined cones”, forming clay vaults in “glass boxes”.

Achievements: The growing building in Montpellier, Tower Flower in Paris, the Cheval Blanc de la Samaritaine hotel, etc.

2. Gautrand Manual


(Gautrand Architecture Manual)

Manuelle Gautrand offers translucent follies, in “recycled glass bricks”, salvaged from construction sites. “Beauty will emerge from the depths of this material,” he said.

Achievements: Museum of Modern Art in Lille, La Gaîté Lyrique, Edison Lite building in Paris, etc.

3. Zaha Hadid


(Zaha Hadid Architects)

The agency of the Anglo-Iraqi architect who died in 2016 designed “vortices” (plural vortexes in English), follies that rest on a central pillar in the shape of a whirlpool.

Pritzker Prize 2004. Achievements: MAXXI Museum in Rome, Canton Opera, CMA-cgm tower in Marseille…

4. Luca Muratorio (CortilE workshop) and Luigi Pardo



The two Italians propose pavilions made of wood, metal and glass, on two levels, the upper housing “ephemeral artistic installations”.

5. Dominique Perrault


(Dominique Perrault Architecture)

He wanted to build “monoliths of standing wood” revolving around each other, in a “skin of glass”.

Achievements: BnF (13th), Louvre post (1st), Longchamp hippodrome (16th), Paris 2024 Olympic village, etc.

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