Situated in the historic heart of Paris, close to the Rue de Rivoli, the Louvre and just a few steps from Notre-Dame – a redevelopment of outstanding complexity and scope.
This huge rehabilitation project spans a 10 hectare site divided into two areas: the Forum des Halles to the east and the Jardins des Halles to the west.
The Forum des Halles is currently the largest underground complex ever built in Europe that is accessible to the public. A 5-storey underground structure 35m high, it comprises one of Europe’s largest multimodal public transport hubs, France’s third largest shopping centre in terms of visitors, public cultural and sports facilities and car parking. At ground level is a spacious, easily accessible esplanade open to the public.
The main aim of the redevelopment project was to reposition the Halles as one of the major public spaces in central Paris and to recreate a north-south axis in the heart of the capital. Access to transport was also complicated and safety difficult to guarantee for residents in this part of the city.
The project consisted of six major sectors of work: the gardens, the underground roads, the transport hub, the Canopy, the shopping centre and the surface roads.
The works lasted 7 years from initial demolition to final inauguration, and the entire site continued operating throughout this period. Though 750,000 people passed under the site’s cranes every day, no accident was ever reported.
Most work on the underground roadways and transport hub was carried out at night when the railway station was closed. Paris City Council’s desire to place sustainable development at the centre of the project was met. The site is also completely accessible to disabled people.
The canopy roof covering the Forum is built of glass and steel. It weighs 6,000 tonnes – the same as the Eiffel Tower!
Three hundred companies worked on different parts of the project that cost €960m with as many as 1,500 people present on site at peak times. On completion of the project, 4.3 hectares of gardens, a redesigned station enlarged by more than 50% and 6,300m² of shopping space had been created.
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