Last December, Dominique Perrault, architect and urban planner, and Philippe Bélaval, President of the French Center for National Monuments, completed their urban study on the Île de la Cité, a mission for which they were directly appointed by President François Hollande, in 2015.
They presented the official report to the French president, accompanied by the mayor of Paris, with the Home Secretary and Minister of Culture in attendance. “The future of the Île de la Cité is a major challenge, not only for Paris, but for France”, said François Hollande.
The mission aimed to propose a new future, over the next 25 years, for the Île de la Cité, a monument-island located in the heart of Paris and the metropolis. With this new study, the island would enter a historical era.
Indeed, the island’s last urban renovation was led by Baron Haussmann in the 19th century. The 35 proposals of the urban study are now presented to the public in the exhibition named “Mission Île de la Cité – the heart of the heart” at the Conciergerie Museum, from February 15th to April 17th.
This exhibition illustrates the vision for the Île de la Cité, not only its content but also its form. The set design resorts to the vocabulary of contemporary art installations’ – modernity, simplicity, luminosity and efficiency – to transform the magnificent Gothic Hall of the Museum without touching it.
Such is the spirit of the Île de la Cité project, to metamorphose the island without denaturing its cultural heritage. The exhibition consists of 20 large backlit panels, presenting the mission, its objectives and the proposals. Visitors will be immersed, through maps, projections and videos, in what might be the island by 2040.
Among the proposals which are developed in the exhibition are: the central Lutèce piazza, the reunification of the Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie, the landscaped promenade at the South of the island, the glass flooring for Notre-Dame piazza, the covered courtyards or the renovation of the flower market.
A free application, “Mission Île de la Cité”, offers its users an extended experience of the exhibition, wandering around the island. Thanks to augmented reality 360° views, taken from major places, and to the virtual model, users can be immersed in what might be the island in 2040. Source and images, Courtesy of Dominique Perrault.