City of Paris approves MVRDV’s restructuring of 1970s superblock in Montparnasse


Situated in close vicinity to Tour Montparnasse, the Vandamme mixed-use block, designed in the early 1970s by the French architect Pierre Dufau, was as one of the largest urban projects implemented in Paris at the time.Once a landmark of the era, over time the complex has failed to adapt to the changing needs of an urban society, resulting in an introverted and self-contained block which lacks urban connectivity, discourages pedestrian activity and neglects any sense of identity.
Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV is enthusiastic about the challenge: ‘This project is a fantastic chance to insert a little bit of human scale into a megalomaniacal 1970’s development in the very heart of Paris. We will bring order to the complex building, making it accessible from all sides and intensifying its use through a higher density of programs. On its façade the building will display all of the activities that are going on inside. For this we have developed a catalogue of façade-elements that are exchangeable so that the entire ensemble can respond flexibly to changes in use over the coming years.’
In order to improve accessibility and increase permeability at ground level, additional entrances are created on Avenue du Maine and Rue Mouchotte.The project was commissioned by Unibail.
Rodamco and has been conceived by MVRDV in collaboration with local architect SRA, engineers SCYNA4, installation consultant LAFI + INEX, cost consultant VANGUARD, façade engineers RFR, acoustic consultant LASA and BATISS for fire safety.

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