Aerial view from the Pont d’Austerlitz. In the foreground, the housing building and temporary pavilion. Image © SO – IL and laisné roussel (Weiss Images)

Aerial view from the Pont d’Austerlitz. In the foreground, the housing building and temporary pavilion. Image © SO – IL and laisné roussel (Weiss Images)

SO-IL and Laisné Roussel architects have been selected as the winners of an international competition to design a new masterplan for Place Mazas in Paris. Titled L’Atelier de l’Arsenal, the proposal seeks to integrate the historic fabric of the site into a new, flexible urban strategy organized around a variety of new buildings and public spaces. 


View from the Arsenal Basin. In the foreground, the public plaza overlooking the swimming pool. Image © SO – IL and laisné roussel (Weiss Images)

View from the Arsenal Basin. In the foreground, the public plaza overlooking the swimming pool. Image © SO – IL and laisné roussel (Weiss Images)

Located along the Seine River and the Canal Saint Martin at the end of the Bastille Axis, the area is currently in the midst of several civic development projects, including the upcoming waterfront park, parc Rives de Seine. SO-IL and Laisné Roussel’s proposal will add mixed-use program to the mix, all of which will feature views of the river and the Parisian cityscape. 

“We are very excited to work on such a unique site in Paris,” said Ilias Papageorgiou, Partner, SO-IL. “Our proposal suggests a dynamic approach in city making, one that considers history as well as the complexity of today’s conditions while allowing room to accommodate future transformation.”


Axonometric view from the  Arsenal Basin. Image © SO – IL and laisné roussel

Axonometric view from the Arsenal Basin. Image © SO – IL and laisné roussel

The masterplan divides the site into two main parts. The first, a seven-story wood structure, is located along the historical Haussmanian axis and offers co-living units, social housing and a restaurant. The other side of the site is dedicated to public activities, including a publicly-accessible pavilion containing co-working spaces, a fabrication lab, and a multi-purpose room; a repurpose lockhouse built in 1905 repurposed for cultural events;  and three new public squares. An existing homeless facility on site, Aurore, will also be incorporated into the plan.

The design also seeks to activate the waterfront space, providing space for the Yacht Club of Bastille as well as a public swimming pool and several pools for biodiversity research and water quality monitoring.

“The design of the Atelier de L’Arsenal is motivated by our conviction that architecture is everyone’s business. In our view, urban resilience and the collective practices developed for and by users are two major challenges for the cities of tomorrow. “ Nicolas Laisné and Dimitri Roussel, Partners, laisné roussel.


View of the subway plaza from the Quai de la Rapée. On the left, the residential building, on the right, the temporary pavilion. Image © SO – IL and laisné roussel (Weiss Images)

View of the subway plaza from the Quai de la Rapée. On the left, the residential building, on the right, the temporary pavilion. Image © SO – IL and laisné roussel (Weiss Images)

The competition was organized by the city of Paris as part of the Reinventer La Seine initiative, which aims to introduce innovative new proposals at the intersection of architecture, creative urbanism, and development for sites along the river.

News via SO-IL

  • Architects: SO-IL, laisné roussel
  • Location: Voie Mazas, Paris, France
  • Client: REI Habitat, Icade Promotion
  • Team: Atelier Georges, Manifesto, Of ce for Cities, WoMa, Yacht Club Paris Bastille, Aurore, Colonies, Institut du Monde Arabe, Base Tara, Cluster EMS, Innogur, Elioth, Acousteb, Sinteo, Maitre Cube, Francilibois
  • Lead Developer: REI Habitat
  • Developer: ICADE
  • Landscape Architect/Urban Planner: Atelier Georges
  • Area: 0.0 ft2

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