Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design, Paris
Located in Paris’ 13th arrondissement, the Cité de la Mode et du Design is the emblem of the city’s eclectic and creative side.
With a floor area of 15,000 square meters / 161,400 square feet, the center is a large hub for a variety of cultural and leisure events housed in a former early-20th century warehouse.
The Cité de la Mode et du Design also houses the IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) a higher education institution for the fashion, textile, luxury goods, and design industries.
Cover image: Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design, view from the Seine; photo Fred Romero / Flickr
The old depot, the first reinforced concrete construction built in Paris, was designed by the architect Georges Morin-Goustiaux in 1907. The three-story building was a storehouse for various types of goods that, transported on the Seine by barges, were directed to the nearby Gare d’Austerlitz rail station.
In their 2005 renovation project, architects Dominique Jakob and Brendan MacFarlane kept the reinforced-concrete structure of the old warehouse, to which they fastened a new volume made of metal and silk-screen printed glass.
Inspired by the movement of the river flow, this organic-shaped “parasite” element contains the building stairs and circulation while, at the same time, it creates the “interface” between the hub and the urban realm. The center with its vividly-colored green envelope, animated at night by luminous installations by visual artist Yann Kersalé, has become one of Paris’ most distinctive landmarks.
Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design, view from the Seine; photos Carl Campbell / Flickr
Program of events and activities
The program of the Cité de la Mode et du Design comprises special exhibitions, site-specific art installations, live performances, fashion shows, conferences, meetings, award ceremonies, and special events. The center also contains clubs, bars, and restaurants.
The main stairs are located in the green “parasite”; photos Fred Romero / Flickr
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