France

The €72 million plan to create ‘largest garden in Paris’ around the Eiffel Tower

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Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo on Tuesday announced that American architect Kathryn Gustafson had won the bid to transform the area around the Eiffel Tower – creating a 1.6 km long green space around the structure to allow pedestrians and cyclists to move around more freely.

The iconic tower gets around 6 million visitors a year, but the area around it is frequently choked with traffic and the thousands of visitors who arrive every day are crushed into a small space.

Photo: Gustafson Porter and Bowman

Gustafson, 68, of London-based firm Gustafson Porter and Bowman told Le Parisien: "I am horrified by the state of the premises, which are not adapted to the flow of walkers and visitors. We have to rethink everything."

Her winning design will create a "unifying axis: celebrating the Eiffel Tower at the centre of a line that connects the Place du Trocadéro, the Palais de Chaillot, the Pont d’Iéna, the Champ de Mars and the Ecole Militaire".

It will make the Seine bridge Pont d'Iéna car free, with only public transport and emergency vehicles allowed, and create a walk and cycle route with a series of mini parks.


Photo: Gustafson, Porter and Bowman

The bid states that: "At the Place du Trocadéro, an amphitheatre of greenery restores space to pedestrians; a new and enlivened public space unfolds from the Varsovie Fountains towards the Pont d’Iéna; the bridge is reincarnated as a green promenade towards the gardens of the Eiffel Tower; the forecourt of the Eiffel Tower caters to the crowds with additional services and facilities discreetly hidden amongst the trees; and the raised lawns of the Champ de Mars protect and elevate the landscape."

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It is envisaged that the parks could be used to stage concerts and events.

The project – entirely financed by the company that operates the Eiffel Tower – is set to be completed by 2024, in time for the Paris Olympics.

It is the latest in a series of projects unveiled by the office of Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo to make Paris more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.

Other schemes to try and cut Paris' high levels of air pollution include revamping seven of the city's major squares and plans to put extra walkways and cycle routes on the Champs Elysées and replace the Arc de Triomphe roundabout with a park, beach or even occasional ice rink.

The full list of works for the Tower include:

Place du Trocadéro – development of a green amphitheatre at the Place du Trocadéro; reorganisation of traffic around Trocadéro

The Varsovie Fountains – extension of the Varsovie Fountain area and renovation of terraced seating; introduction of aisles to the side of the fountains for universal circulation

Gardens of the Trocadéro – rehabilitation of tunnels in the Trocadéro gardens in the service of DEVE and visitors; rehabilitation of existing kiosks

Pont d'Iéna – creation of two new squares on either side of the Pont d’Iéna bridge – Varsovie square, to host evRead More – Source

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