MVRDV has received approval to renovate a 1970s complex in Paris and transform it into a mixed-use development that “reintroduces the lost human scale.” This colorful version of the Ilôt Vandamme block, originally designed by French architect Pierre Dufau, will include a shopping center, offices, a hotel, housing, a kindergarten, a library and underground parking.
The Ilôt Vandamme block was designed by Dufau after he was put in charge of the reconstruction efforts of post-war Amiens. Dufau also designed the Tour Europlaza tower in the city’s La Défense district. The Dutch firm plans to renovate the block, known as the largest urban project in Paris at the time, and redesign the architecture, which mostly consists of a horizontal slab and a 30-story hotel right now.
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The architects are expected to reintroduce the human scale and “bring order to the complex building.” The existing shopping center facade will be replaced with glazed boxes of varying shapes, sizes, colors and materials. This will adjust the scale of the block to a more human scale and create flexible architecture which can be adjusted for different uses, since the facade modules were designed to be exchanged. The existing Bibliothèque Vandamme will move to the top of the building’s plinth while offices will be housed in a six-story block topped with roof terraces.