Paris La Défense has appointed five international offices to compete in reimagining of the vast space beneath the Esplanade of Axe historique, including the iconic ‘la Cathedrale’ located in the heart of the La Défense business district.
Besides KAAN Architecten, offices in the running include Baukunst, Emilio Tuñón, Lacaton & Vassal, and Tezuka Architects in association with Ciel Rouge Création. This selection was made based on relevance of previous work as well as the strength and multi-disciplinarity of skills.
Through a competitive dialogue process, Paris La Défense intends to enhance the 20,000 m² of underground space beneath the district. The competing firms will have several months to propose both a long-term vision necessary for the completion of this complex project, as well as more immediate first interventions to reveal these hidden spaces.
At the end of the dialogue in early 2020, Paris La Défense will choose the team that will make ‘la Cathedrale’ and its contiguous volumes a real urban experience, unusual and original, driven by its aesthetic DNA and an atypical programmatic ambition.
Historically, the platform of Paris La Défense was designed to separate the functions for the users of the district from technical or logistical purposes, leaving thousands of square meters unexploited with ceiling heights often reaching up to 15 meters.
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