The spatial and administrative separation of Paris from its suburbs is one of the permanent problems that plagues the metropolis. An intelligent project that combines transport and leisure functions contributes to overcoming the barriers created by the ring motorway.
Precisely at this point in time when the design of “Grand Paris” is assuming concrete form with the Grand Paris Express train station projects for the entire greater metropolitan area, the work of Dietmar Feichtinger at the Porte de Pantin acquires particular importance. It is a symbol of the new urban continuum that is gradually being established between Paris and its banlieues across the ring motorway of the Boulevard Périphérique. This relationship to the adjoining communities is based on the transport network. A maintenance facility for the new 3b tram line, which will connect the east of Paris, was needed. Instead of banishing the workshops and tram sheds to the suburbs the Paris transport authority (RATP) decided to erect this facility on a city sports grounds along the city motorway. But in order not to deprive the people living there of this much used sports complex it was decided to move the area for their sporting activities onto the roof slab of the tram sheds in the form of a sports centre.
The office of Dietmar Feichtinger, which had won the competition set up in 2008, was also commissioned to convert a part of Jules-Ladoumègue Stadium. This project is closely meshed with the new RATP maintenance centre. It lies to the north of the stadium, whereas the sports areas are to the south, with the remarkable “Pagode”, a covered athletics centre built in 1970 by architect Jean Peccoux.
The sports facilities on the roof, eight metres above the ground, consist of soccer and rugby pitches, both conforming to international specifications, as well as tennis courts and multi-functional areas. The soccer and rugby pitches use the changing facilities in the “Pagode”, which is reached by a ramp. Corridors connect the pitches with each other and the design of the ground surfaces combines paths of porous concrete with planted zones. The trees are distributed in two green areas, one of which is an accessible garden planted with cherry trees.
In the western part of the site, along the ring motorway an “inhabited noise protection wall“ will be built which is intended to protect the new facilities on the roof from traffic noise, air pollution and strong winds. This building on which six tennis courts are to be made, will be constructed of a series of metal frames and clad with a double skin of polycarbonate panels. Horizontal larch boards will provide protection from the sun on the east facade. On the three other faces sun protection is integrated in the polycarbonate envelope in the form of mobile vertical boards that can be positioned to control the entry of sunshine and the amount of light. On the side facing the motorway translucent panels, alternating red and colourless and suggestive of the lights of the passing cars, are arranged like a keyboard – a humorous reference to the Cité de la Musique and the Philharmonie, which stand precisely opposite.
Text Catherine Pierre
Full Text in Architektur Aktuell