Seine Left Bank

  • Paris, France
Return to projects archives

  • Slide 0
  • Slide 1
  • Slide 2

The question is: how do we fabricate a city today?


Are we capable of extending Paris while respecting both its historical characteristics and the requirements of urban contemporary life? Our analysis cannot only be critical, it must be constructive.


We can only make Paris in a spirit of realism:

1 / By considering as a prerequisite the will of Paris’s political decision-makers to remain within the traditional Parisian scale.


2 / By considering this new quarter at the scale of the city.

  • We must analyze, balance, equilibrate, and connect.
  • By considering questions of density and green space, of legibility, by considering scale, the scale of neighboring buildings, of the Seine, of its bridges.
  • By considering the value of the city as a whole and particularly that of its existing buildings, the quayside, buildings along the Seine riverfront, the train station…


3 / We must propose typologies and innovative solutions that respect the requirements of the real estate market in terms of density and meet the project’s economic objectives. Servicing, access, image, solar factors, view, green spaces, blend and complexity of functions are all essential criteria.


To meet these objectives, we must remain highly flexible in terms of zoning. Uses must be able to change to accommodate evolving demand over the life of the project.

  • What is essential, though, is to build with respect to what exists, what constitutes the roots and memory of this place: Austerlitz station, the Seine river port, the old warehouses and mills.
  • We must leave the “tabula rasa” approach of the 1960s and 70s forever behind us.



Jean Nouvel