Clichy-Batignolles, Paris, the occupied zone, walk 2

Yes, it is somewhat exhausting to take in all the new buildings in Clichy-Batignolles. So many seemed to yell “look at ME !”  Most everybuilding had something that attracted my interest, be it balcony design, shutters, landscaping, mixed use, or conspicuous greenwashing.


europeans continue to prefer windows that open in, with window dressings in the forms of shutters, blinds, and grills to the exterior. There is a certain energy bonus to stopping the sun and wind at the exterior skin; and the exterior look of the building becomes more organic as it changes throughout the day.

I think new wood provides a nice contrast to manufactured surfaces, but as it ages, does it gain a patina or just look weather-beaten?

This building intrigued me. It is “green” in the sense that the balconies suggest plantings, but alas, they are mostly merely decals on the glass. I suspect the concept was better when it was just on paper:

There was a new Catholic church, drop in centre, and medical-assist studio apartments above:

I liked the orange and varied muted colour accent panels behind the very shallow triangular balconies:

roll shades … colour matched …

the corner of the building was a pleasing meld of the traditional Haussman rounded corner and modern sawtooth:

Modern architecture residential building with a daycare on the ground floor, behind security. But what are those coloured objects in the window? Lego?

A very large glazed lobby was taken up with four vacuum drop off points into which residents deposit their garbage, apres sorting of course:

The central vacuum system sucks the garbage and recyclables to a plant on the edge of the neighbourhood. Still, this was using some prime storefront space …  next door to it, the Maire de Paris had its site office, which is where I gathered literature, photo’d the model (of the site), and listened to an executive talk up the project that they certainly should be proud of.

There was a small grocery store, part of a chain of small grocers found throughout Paris, and also some refreshingly Parisian sidewalk cafes, complete with blankies to keep you warm while enjoying the last of the autumn sun and some red wine. Internationally modern, yet still Parisian:

But then there was the garage entrance …

Exterior venetian blinds, made of steel:

Every self respecting green building these days has to have a green wall. In this case, the school was in day-glo lime green, with an apartment tower above it clad in oversize popsicle sticks. This tower is frequently used in publicity photos, but I cannot be sure why. I do note that in all my photos, I never took a picture of this tower by itself.

Part of the school was also clad in fabric pouches supporting plants:

I could hear children shouting and playing, but they were mostly invisible. I see more and more school yards being fenced off, then the fences being made opaque, to the point where children can only be heard and not seen:

The wood-clad tower above is a student residence. Recall that Portland and other places put in student housing early on in major projects, because students are “takers” rather than “choosers” of housing, it distributes the funding of social housing amongst more providers, and students come and go at all hours of day greatly enlivening the environs. To see that for yourself, head up to the Carling OTrain station and watch the pedestrian traffic going to and from Envie student housing.

Somewhat exhausted, I went looking for the metro, as the Cardinet Station was closed for renovations and incorporation into a urban shopping mall. I ended up “crossing the tracks” and found myself relieved  to be back in traditional Paris:


So, does Clichy-Batignolles achieve its objectives? Let’s look at some facts and figures, next.

4 thoughts on “Clichy-Batignolles, Paris, the occupied zone, walk 2

  1. I’m enjoying your series – we lived in Paris last year but on the opposite corner – in the 13th – where similar rejuvenation and projects are occurring – although I explored most of the city over the 10 months we were there – I did not make it to this corner of the city and am enjoying your virtual tour and insights. (I was close on one walk from the Arc de Triomphe to Parc Monceau and to the edge of MLK parc, but I walked up to Montmartre that day instead of continuing on to MLK Park – there’s always somewhere else to go!) – I did a tour of the old court house through my french language school and heard all about how it was moving out to the new building after over 1000 yrs of being on Ile de la Cite. The tour guide was sad about it. So after that I was quite fascinated with the new court building. I have many photos of it from a distance (b/c it’s easily found on the skyline)…but never managed to find it at ground level. It was interesting to see your photos from close up.

  2. My impression of these fine photo essays is that there is a lot of architectural experimentation going on. It suggests that a lot of the projects are publicly funded, as private developers would likely not be willing to experiment quite that much. Is that so?
    Yes, being back in `traditional Paris` is certainly more satisfying. Are we introducing too much glass into buildings, not only as window material but even light structural applications.

  3. I appreciate you are taking us through a part of Paris that is usually not on one’s touristy tours. It is tempting to think what could be applied to LeBreton Flats and what couldn’t now the current situation has changed in Otawa. We will see if the NCC can look to Europe for lessons learned (Paris, Freiburg (Germany) and Stockholm’s Hammarby Sjöstad come to mind. I think LeBreton can become a showcase of existing new insights that work by looking over our borders.

    1. Yes, most urban megaprojects are global in design now. If trinity departs the illumination project here in ottawa i see no reason why the ncc or a new federal “independent” agency cannot complete the plan from here on, given the layout and most site scale planning is finished.

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