Bridges are pretty functional in that they allow you to cross over something, but in reality they are underutilized space. Stéphane Malka of Malka Architecture has taken a serious look at how we can better use bridges and dreamed up the Pont9 Project. This series of modular and functional urban spaces strung up above the bridge would take the infrastructure to a whole new level. Offices, residences, galleries, public space, bars and more all find new homes above an important crossing point to add critical density to Paris.
The concept behind Stéphane Malka’s Pont9 is to co-opt existing infrastructure and better utilize the space for residents. In this scenario, a bridge over the Seine is taken over with parasitic architecture composed of modular spaces. Elevated over 40 feet above the bridge, the new infrastructure is supported via a system of pylons, interconnected footbridges, and scaffolding.
Modular additions are proposed to become spaces for new offices, residences, meeting rooms, art galleries, restaurants, bars, recording studios, and open public spaces. The idea is residents would run these spaces and enjoy the central location in the heart of Paris. The modular and mobile project could also be disassembled and moved if necessary to a new location. Pont9 is a mobile ghetto of sorts; as Malka says, “a voluntary ghetto, an organized community of ideas, a hood built from an appropriation of land both conquered and controlled.”