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Last edited 13 Feb 2021
Future Roads of Grand Paris
|The RSH+P-led international multi-disciplinary team generated proposals as a creative response to the major problems faced by society today: environment, technological upheaval and political polarisation. It sees a future primary road network not as a source of noise, pollution and congestion but as one that provides real public benefits.|
The speed and scale at which changes are taking place in 21st century modern society are challenging us to constantly adapt our methods and actions. Like many other major, global regions, the Île-de-France is increasingly faced with the major issue of what the future holds for the road network of Grand Paris, and what transformations can be made by reimagining what it can become in 2030 and 2050.
Four multidisciplinary teams: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP), D&A Devillers & Associés, Richez Associés, Seura Architects, have been selected by the communities at the heart of the metropolitan forums of Grand Paris, with the Mairie of Paris, the Île-de-France region and the State, to issue an international consultation. This will engage in proposals that will open a whole new realm of possibilities. ‘Le Pavillon de l’Arsenal’ and ten other venues within the Île-de-France region, will present these proposals, from the 7 June to 13 October 2019, through the exhibition ‘The Future Roads of Grand Paris.’ The exhibition will be part of the first Architecture and Landscape Biennale of the Ile-de-France region.
Led by RSHP, and working with AREP consultants, the ‘SUN’ (Shared Utility Network) polycentric study, sits at the intersection of three great crises: an environmental emergency, a period of profound technological upheaval, and finally, a time of political polarisation and disquiet that reflects upon deepening inequalities.
The question of metropolitan mobility touches upon each of these challenges and offers the opportunity to see and conceive of the primary road network – in this case, that of Greater Paris – in a radically new way. Rather than being a source of pollution, noise or congestion, a necessary evil to be endured, RSHP proposes to transform the road network of the future into a public good: a ‘Shared Utility Network.’
It is clearly impossible to predict the future with any great certainty. RSHP’s proposals are therefore designed to be totally flexible, a platform that can be appropriated by a multitude of new uses and offering forms of shared mobility that are radically different to those of 2019.
With major, exciting, technological innovations and advancements coming to the fore, these proposals will greatly benefit from and experiment with the development of travel assistance applications, the search for new, clean engines, and the use of artificial intelligence for autonomous vehicles.
Stephen Barrett, Partner at RSHP said: “Based largely on what already exists, the infrastructure we propose delivers a metropolitan-wide armature that would be impossible to create today. Our future generations will not forgive us if we do not address the environmental questions raised by the use of the private automobile in the decades to come. We therefore need to deliver urban transport systems that are cleaner, more sustainable and more equitable in their impacts and access. Our proposals are a first step towards that vision.” –
‘The Future Roads of Grand Paris’ exhibition at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, 21, Boulevard Morland 75004 Paris opened today and will end on the 13th of October 2019.
 About the architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is an international architectural practice based in London. Over the past four decades, RSHP has attracted critical acclaim and awards with built projects across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.
The practice is experienced in designing a wide range of building types including office, residential, transport, education, culture, leisure, retail, civic and healthcare. The quality of its designs has been recognised with some of architecture’s highest awards, including two RIBA Stirling Prizes, one in 2006 for Terminal 4, Madrid Barajas Airport and the other in 2009 for Maggie’s West London Centre.
A deep belief in the importance of sustainability has underscored the firm’s work since the early days, and recent and ongoing projects such as the extension to the London School of Economics, the New Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital, International Towers Sydney and the extension to the British Museum, exemplify this belief with a range of environmental features built into the fabric of the building.
Since the early days of the Lloyd’s building in the 1970s, the practice has produced innovative, beautiful, sustainable, and practical architecture which creatively solves problems for clients. A focus on providing flexible spaces separated from service elements means RSHP’s buildings are adaptable and resilient in a world where technology is changing rapidly.
The firm was founded as the Richard Rogers Partnership in 1977 but over time evolved and in 2007 the decision was made to rename the firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to reflect the vital contributions of Graham Stirk, designer of the iconic Leadenhall Building and Protos Winery, and Ivan Harbour, whose residential scheme for homeless families, PLACE/Ladywell, won the Mayor of London’s prize for the project that best creatively contributes to the capital’s economy. The practice now has 13 partners, with several long-standing members of the practice being named partners in 2015. Together, they represent the inherent continuity and consistency of the philosophy which the practice applies to all its work.
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