David Chipperfield Architects has completed "Morland Mixité Capitale" project on the banks of the Seine in the center of the city of Paris. It is a remodeling and extension of the historic building designed by Albert Laprade in 1960, the administrative headquarters of the city known as the "Préfecture de Paris".

This project arose after winning the "Reinventer Paris" competition together with the Calq Architecture studio team. Their proposal stood out for being an intervention that reopened the building to the public and promoted the positive reactivation of the neighborhood. The inauguration date of the work has been set for next June.
The competition call for entries called for the generation of new ideas for remodeling 23 different areas of the city. David Chipperfield Architects' intervention won the prize for the reformulation of a complex of several buildings facing Morland Boulevard.

Originally the administration building was configured as a 16-story tower with two adjacent wings of 9 stories each, creating a small plaza on the site. The architects proposed the insertion of two new volumes with an intermediate scale, thus connecting the dimensions of the old building with the other buildings in the neighborhood. In this way, the public is brought closer to the building and is brought into contact with its context. A series of vaulted porticoes elegantly break with the previous strict grid aesthetic.
 
“I believe more than the design excellence of an individual building and its construction, architectural quality today is seen in the ways in which the building connects with its surroundings and enriches quality of life for all citizens, addressing a holistic approach to sustainability. In the case of Morland Mixité Capitale, the gesture towards the public realm and the creation of a semi-public space was an important aspect, as well as the overlapping of different activities.”
David Chipperfield
 

Morland Mixité Capitale by David Chipperfield Architects. Photograph by Simon Menges.
 

Project description by David Chipperfield Architects

The former ‘Préfecture de Paris’ on Boulevard Morland is situated on the banks of the River Seine in 4th arrondissement of Paris. The building, which originally housed city administration, was completed around 1960 by the architect Albert Laprade. The existing complex originally comprised a 16-storey tower flanked by two 9-storey wings, which formed a square facing the boulevard. As a consequence of the grand scale and the stringent, repetitive façade grid, the complex had a closed off and unapproachable appearance, which was also evident in the rather lifeless square.

Within the context of the Call for Projects ‘Réinventer Paris’, new concepts were to be generated for 23 sites by interdisciplinary teams, comprising architects, project developers, landscape architects and artists. The team David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and the French developer Emerige won the Call for Projects for the complex on Boulevard Morland.

The new ‘Morland Mixité Capitale’ is the result of the refurbishment, remodelling and extension of the existing buildings. The previously introverted complex was made accessible to the public, transforming it into a lively and open place with the character of a campus and emanating a positive effect for the overall neighbourhood. Two new building volumes facing the boulevard and the River Seine, which mediate between the scale of the existing and neighbouring buildings, contribute to the repair of the city. The volumes are raised above the ground to create a new public axis that provides a passage from the boulevard to the River Seine. Load-bearing, vaulted arcades characterize this passage at ground floor level and act as a counterpart to the stringent column grid of the existing ensemble. The arcades establish an inviting entrance gesture to the campus, guiding passers-by into the interior of the complex.

Preserving and further developing the existing building not only ensures urban continuity, but also forms an essential component for the sustainability concept. With great respect for the existing fabric, it was repaired instead of being replaced wherever possible. Low energy and resource consumption are ensured, among other things, by an energy cycle based on heat exchange and a closed phyto-purification system for urban gardening on the roof.

The complex accommodates a wide spectrum of usages: upscale and affordable housing, a hotel, a youth hostel, offices, retail, a gallery, a market hall and a childcare facility. The two top floors, which were only accessible to the public for a few years following the completion of the original building, are opened up again and given back to the public. These upper storeys house an inhabitable art installation by Ólafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann from Studio Other Spaces Berlin, a bar and restaurant. From here, inhabitants and visitors can enjoy wide vistas over the French capital.

More information

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Architects
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David Chipperfield Architects Berlin. Calq Architecture. Partners.- David Chipperfield, Christoph Felger (Design lead), Harald Müller.
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Collaborators
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Quantity surveyor.- CB économie.

Contact architect.- BRS-Architectes.

Executive architect.- Calq Architecture.

General contractor.- Bouygues.

Structural engineer.- Somete, Bollinger & Grohmann.

Services engineer.- Barbanel Ingénierie.

Acoustic consultant.- Acoustique Vivié & Associé.

Fire consultant.- MDS.

Facade consultant.- Bollinger & Grohmann.

Sustainability.- Etamine Michel Desvigne Paysagiste.

Landscape architect.- Michel Desvigne Paysagiste.

Installations.- Studio Other Spaces (Ólafur Elíasson und Sebastian Behmann), Encore Heureux.
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Client
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Société Parisienne du Nouvel Arsenal represented by Emerige.
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Area
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GFA.- 63,500 m².
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Dates
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Competition.- 2015-2016.

Project start.- 2016.

Completion.- 2022.
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Location
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17 Bd Morland, 75004 Paris, France.
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Photography
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David Chipperfield was born in London in 1953 and studied architecture at the Kingston School of Art and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London before working at the practices of Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster.

In 1985 he founded David Chipperfield Architects, which today has over 300 staff at its offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai.

David Chipperfield has taught and held conferences in Europe and the United States and has received honorary degrees from the universities of Kingston and Kent.

He is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and an honorary fellow of both the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA). In 2009 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 2010 he received a knighthood for services to architecture in the UK and Germany. In 2011 he received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture and in 2013 the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association, while in 2021 he was appointed a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in recognition of a lifetime’s work.

In 2012 he curated the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

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