BIG Architects Selected to Design Green-Roofed Mega Development in Suburban Paris

Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), along with Tess, Transsolar, Base, Transitec and Michel Forgue will design Europa City, a massive mixed-use development planned for the greater Paris area.

Photo credit: http://www.europacity.com.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Paris—Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), along with Tess, Transsolar, Base, Transitec and Michel Forgue will design Europa City, a massive mixed-use development planned for the greater Paris area. Arquitectura Viva reports that the group’s proposal outcompeted design bids coming from Norwegian firm Snøhetta or French teams Manuelle Gautrand Architecture and Valode & Pistre.

Initiated by the Auchan Group, the 200-acre ring-shaped project will be located in Île-de-France, the country’s most populated region. One of the most stunning features of this exceptional architectural endeavor will be an undulating green roof atop of the development that will serve as a recreational landscape. The green roof will also provide insulation, treat gray water for irrigation and capture rainwater for the mini-city.

According to BIG founding partner Bjarke Ingels, the park-topped, transit-connected experimental complex will include a mix of urbanism and landscape design. Plans call for retail, hotels, offices, museums, exhibition space, concert halls, nightclubs, restaurants, swimming pools, urban farms, hiking trails, waste heat-powered spas, an aquarium and even an artificial ski slope. The project will be centered upon the defining theme of the European urban experience, diversity and culture.

“EuropaCity will be an experimental hybrid between urbanism and landscape design: center and periphery overlapped in the simultaneous coexistence of a recreational open landscape of rolling hills superimposed on an urban neighborhood of walkable streets, plazas and parks. We find that Paris these years is taking on a holistic effort to ensure that the urban periphery is given equal opportunity to be as lively and inhabitable as its historic center. EuropaCity will be an important step in this agenda,” Ingels said in a press statement.

Combining urban efficiency with the health benefits of country life, the new development is intended to become a model sustainable city. Europa City will use solar, geothermal and biofuel energy, while offering residents the option of becoming involved in urban farming. Designed as a laboratory for sustainable technologies, the project will not only save energy, but also improve the quality of the urban environment. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and take about four years to complete.