October 14, 2005
Paris-based architects Jakob + MacFarlane
are uniting fashion and design along the Seine's Left Bank
by enveloping an existing 1907 concrete dockside warehouse
in new construction. The 129,000-square-foot structure will
be filled by the City of Fashion and Design (Cité de
la Mode et du Design) and will house the Institute Français
de la Mode (a fashion school). Exhibition space will fill
a third of the building, which will also include music production
studios, cafés, restaurants, and a bookstore when it
opens in 2008.
"Using the existing concrete structure and its order,
we generated the constructive logic for the new structure,"
said Brendan MacFarlane, one of the principal architects.
The new construction of steel, glass, and landscape material,
called a "plug-over" by the architects, will protect
the original concrete, add another floor, and jut out over
the river. It will provide circulation to various destinations
within the building.
The concrete skeleton provides structural support and a physical
connection to the site's industrial history as the architectural
fluidity of the ramps reflects the flux of river traffic and
of people moving through the space and exchanging ideas. Adjoining
the network of promenades along the Seine, ramps from the
ground level will carry visitors through the four-story building
to the rooftop park above the riverbank. At night, special
lighting will animate activity in and around the building
and complement the Paris skyline.