Urban Spaces | Case Study Collection

La ville de Saint-Denis – Université.  Any Paris Metro commuter usually says a quick prayer of thanks because signage and color codes really does make things easier to navigate.  Light Blue Line 13, connects with the 1, 3, 4, 9, 12, 14, etc. but more importantly this direction also carries you out to the metro stop Saint-Denis – Université.  Upon exiting into the streets, one might check out the Stad de France which was built in 1998 for the World Cup Finals (for the record – France won despite lingering rumors about certain player backgrounds and hometowns).  At the Plaza de Saint-Denis another type of moveable media is color coded to help one learn about the area.  This prominent building signage piece communicates that the website – www.Ville-Saint-Denis.Fr – is available to help you learn more about the latest community news and when digitally accessed breaks out everything by coded, topical interest as an efficient online guide.

Musée du quai Branly.  Commissioned in 1995, this urban space is unusual in that it moves you through a extensive object mix from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas – and that’s not even the temporary exhibitions (right now they’re also highlighting Ancient Mayan Civilization).  Understandably that’s a lot of ground to cover, and big surprise but there isn’t really one specific place you should start. However, during a walk through this space, a plan didn’t really seem to matter because every visitor circulated to personal interest areas.  Moreover, the museum’s standard map, the lighting, and architectural design all contribute to a mobile setting which creates a unique organization pattern which pairs perfectly with displayed collections.

Les Halles Métropole.  During the 1960s, economic, social and cultural changes revamped this historic 1st Arrondissement, restaurant/marketplace atmosphere to pave way for more commercialized, technically updated spaces.  The masked glass/iron architecture display remnants from the last major overhaul of this neighborhood, and now forty years later after the last revinention of this neighborhood, Les Halles will move into yet another new era that is being developed by organizers representing different sects of French government including – Mairie de Paris and Ile de France – to name a few.  Renderings about what the space will eventually look like include elements surrounding open-air pavilions, waterways, park landscape and other private commerce spaces.  Given the grandiose construction layout, mobilizing this space into its new personality will not happen quickly.  The Construction camps alone are scheduled to be set up by late 2011.

Centre Pompidou.  Art Critics, Historians, Conservationists salivate over many things when in Paris – Macarons, a good Bordeaux, and of course classic architecture.  To a voyeur around town it might seem as if nearly every Parisian street corner, facade or door way contains some sort of significance, as to the original building’s story.  So in comparison, the Pompidou is a mere toddler when compared to the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triumph, Notre Dame, etc.  But if a certain guild of architects were to set out and build a brand-new destination within Paris, like Edmund Happold, Peter Rice, Renzo Piano, and Gianfranco Franchini decided to do, then of course their design should naturally reflect the ability to mobilize and shift around the global art exhibitions that the Centre would eventually host.  Hence, various walls and wings of the Pompidou are actually designed to move and come out.  Not bad for a building that’s in its 40s.


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