Les Lumières Pleyel, St. Denis, France
Snohetta AS

Together with Baumschlager Eberle Architekten, Chaix & Morel et Associés, Ateliers 2/3/4/, MARS architectes, Maud Caubet Architectes and Moreau Kusunoki, Snøhetta has been part of the team behind Les Lumières Pleyel, a large-scale and mixed-use development project situated in the Pleyel district of St. Denis, France. The architectural team is represented by Sogelym Dixence and the project is a part of the extensive Grand Paris development project which comprises a total of 51 different projects that will transform the Parisian region in the years to come. Snøhetta has been a lead architect and landscape architect on the project and has designed a 14,000m2 park area, which is located at the heart of Les Lumières Pleyel. Snøhetta has also designed two high-rises, the L8 and R3 buildings.

Les Lumières Pleyel is one of the largest projects of the Grand Paris initiative and the project is expected to be completed between 2023 and 2028. The project is situated between the Stade de France and the docks of Saint-Ouen. The area runs along the existing Northern Europe railroad and will be strategically placed next to the largest station of the Grand Paris Express metro, Saint-Denis Pleyel. Hence, Les Lumières Pleyel will become an important crossroad for commuters and residents and will transform the current industrial area and increase the future attractiveness of St. Denis.

The site is planned to accommodate for over 176,000m2 of a large variety of buildings, including offices spaces, residential buildings, and student housing. The architects have aimed to create a vivid place to live and work, but also for recreation and pleasure. Adding a touch of innovation to the project, the architects have made sure to design the buildings in a way that allows them to switch back and forth between residential housing and office spaces. These flexible solutions allow for an adaptable and future-oriented usage.

The architecture follows an overarching strategy of cultural exchange and green development, orchestrated by players such as Manifesto and Artelia. Cultural engineer, Manifesto, has accommodated for a wide range of cultural activities within Les Lumières Pleyel, such as of cinemas, concerts and cultural scenes. Artelia has introduced urban farming programs that accommodate for a modern and innovative post-carbon way of life.

From the skyline of the high rises, which vary in heights between 18 and 120 meters, to the dents and slopes of the central park, Les Lumières Pleyel is designed to imitate wave-like formations that extend the timeframe of exposed sunlight into the area. The waves of Les Lumières Pleyel are transversally interrupted in several sequences which offer neighboring inhabitants easy access to the central park. Lifting the ground to create slopes and bumps is also a strategy to deal with the pollution of the site – to cap the polluted soil below and add new soil to the park. Planting zones of different plant species with special characteristics that react differently to light conditions during the day are strategically planted depending on the amount of light and shade an area receives.

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