The Grand Palais Ephemere by Wilmotte & Associes
Project Name: Grand Palais Éphémère
Architect: Wilmotte & Associés
Project Location: Paris, France
Project Area: 10,000 sq.m
Developer & Contractor: GL Events GPE
Engineers: Chabanne Ingenierie
Acoustics: Lamoureux acoustics
Control and Coordination: Socotec Construction
French architecture practice Wilmotte & Associés proposed The Grand Palais Ephemere that will be used to hold major art events in Paris while the 19th century Grand Palais undergoes renovation.
The Grand Palais has been inoperable for renovations since March 2021. The newly upgraded Grand Palais will enable the original to be brought up to date in terms of technology. The original Grand Palais will also provide improved accessibility for those with limited mobility, as well as greater space and light efficiency. RMN-Grand Palais is collaborating with Universcience – Palais de la Découverte on this project. After the 2024 Olympic Games, when the Grand Palais Éphémère is scheduled to be demolished, the first phase of the construction will be finished and in the spring of 2025, the second portion will be completed.
During the 2024 Olympic Games, the Grand Palais Éphémère will also have a role to play. Wrestling and judo competitions, as well as wheelchair rugby and judo Paralympic games, will be held here. Until then, the Grand Palais’ diverse lineup of performances, exhibits, salons, and festivals has it all.
Located on Champs de Mars between the Eiffel Tower and École Militaire, The Grand Palais Ephemere is a modular project with a spectacular curving roof that echoes the buildings of the Expositions Universelles. Photographer Jad Sylla photographed the new Parisian art icon while simultaneously documenting the development process of this innovative engineering exhibition.
The Grand Palais Éphémère, which is scheduled to exist for three years, will hold important events like FIAC, Paris Photo, Chanel’s fashion shows, and Saut Hermès that are typically hosted within the original, magnificent structure across the river.
The volume rises 20 meters or 65 feet, a height that is both large and respectful to its surroundings and context, as it does not rise above the school next to it It has a modular construction that may be reused and rebuilt in different configurations once it is removed, allowing it to host a variety of adaptable programs. Along its major compositional axis, the proposal integrates itself into the renowned site.
The modular building, which is made up of 44 prefabricated timber arches, may be dismantled and reassembled in a variety of ways after it has been deconstructed. Furthermore, the structure’s wood is PEFC-certified, meaning it came from a sustainably managed forest.
Wood is a sink for carbon: the frame is believed to have collected 1956 tonnes of CO2. The double shell that surrounds the structure offers excellent acoustic, thermal, and ventilation qualities, lowering energy expenses. The translucent canvas seen from the exterior is constructed of mineral and non-petroleum-based polymer, which uses 90% less energy to manufacture than glass and is entirely recyclable.
The structure is designed with an expressive structure and material. The transparent textile material that wraps the design shows the underlying structure as a compliment to the Tour Eiffel’s engineers. This modular approach also adds to the project’s simplicity of construction, which took only three months to complete.
The interior has an upper-level viewing area, and the versatile layout allows for a variety of events, allowing the new building to become a dynamic presence both in its urban environment and within the Parisian art context.
French architect, urban planner, and designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte is known for his simple and beautiful architecture as well as his considerable expertise with complicated buildings and event venues. The Wilmotte agency, known for its eclecticism in production, is active in both the public and private sectors, whether in the luxury, hotel, residential, or tertiary sectors.
The architect stated that arches of this structure resemble the ones of The Eiffel Tower and are placed in the same alignment. This project is like a huge cushion embedded in the landscaping. Designers made deliberate efforts to maintain the height of the structure in order to provide a breathing space concerning the adjacent building.
“The City of Paris is concerned about the preservation of its plant reserves. To conserve the roots, we did not dig too deep and did not touch a single tree in the Champ-de-Mars “, stated the architect.
This design is a creative design solution to the challenge of integrating the structure into urban and architectural contexts. This structure had to respond respectfully to the surrounding site features.
In order to create a responsive design that merges well with the site context, a double-curved frame structure was proposed with a sensitive approach keeping in mind the environmental impact. The material was optimized by the design of the structural arches acting in compression allowing a reduction in the mass of wood utilized.
The Grand Palais Ephemere by this studio is a symbol of current contemporary ideals due to its use of ecological materials and simple disassembly. While The Grand Palais Ephemere and even London’s Crystal Palace are examples of 19th-century notions of grandeur, the design techniques are entirely in accord with 21st-century environmental imperatives.
This project is a creative proposal to maintain Paris’ integrity and tradition of art and cultural fests, it is the capital of art and culture. This double-vaulted architectural solution fits well into the prestigious site with a sensitive context. The exemplary project, through its design, pays tribute to the already existing monuments in the neighbourhood context and at the same time offers an eco-friendly solution. The building is designed in a way that catches attention but at the same time, does not stand out like an alien structure against the landscape and architectural context already existing on the site. This is a modern-era approach with a sustainable vision in design that marks a subtle statement.
With advanced engineering technology and the architect’s clear vision, this self-supporting is a perfect substitute for The Grand Palais. With materials versatility to be deconstructed and reconstructed again, the parts of the buildings which originated from France will always remain in France.
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