RÉALIMENTER MASSENA

 

On Sustainable Feeding: An advanced base for research and the circular economy.

It would be wrong to believe that the current buzz over cooking, and more broadly nutrition, in Western Europe and the United States is only a phenomenon driven by the media. The reality is unfortunately more profound. In fact, the prime motivation behind this interest is growing concern at a lack of understanding of the immense complexity of the globalized food chain. While initiatives to return the human dimension to food flourish, they are not ambitious enough in scale when we face the challenge to feed nine billion people by 2050, in a context of pollution and increased global warming. While there are many research institutes around the world working to find a solution to this unfolding crisis, their work remains largely inaccessible to the general public. We believe it is necessary to create a single place, in a large city like Paris, where one can experience and share in real time all dimensions of ongoing research in a friendly atmosphere. Our site is the former ‘Massena Station’ for a project that forms part of an iconic urban metamorphosis of ‘Grand Paris’. Alongside existing and future “urban monuments,” the site is a pivot between the border of Paris and its suburbs. Bordering the boulevard Maréchaux and the Petite Ceinture (the old railway circling Paris, today a habitat for a growing biodiversity), the station carries the suggestion of a metropolitan scale, which, interrogated, fed into the idea of the proposal. Réalimenter Masséna becomes, at this scale, part of the ecology of the Petite Ceinture. This project embodies a vibrant urban journey, innovative and sustainable. Drawing on the site history of the train station, it invites users on a trip around the daily cycle of food, from growing, through harvesting to consumption. The ramps weave the link between the various programs that form this system, and the actors they depend on. It is a focal point in Paris, with an international outreach. Researchers, chefs, food economists, agricultural specialists, and committed artists form an international network of partners that use this as a place of synergy, exchange, and gatherings.  In the 13th arrondissement, Réalimenter Masséna becomes a place open to all: a verdant beacon for life in this neighborhood. It is a place to create a complete food culture from the grain to the product, back to the grain. Generated by a circular economy both architecturally and programmatically, the project focusses on reuse, closed loops and self-sufficiency. Ré‐Alimenter Masséna helps us to build a better relationship to the bodies that support us, both our own and our earth.

Project information

Status: Ongoing

Location: Paris 75013

Date: 2014— 2021

Surface: 4200 m²

Commission: Public

Client: Hertel Investissement

Program: Atelier pédagogique, logements, bureaux, cantine, marché, salle de spectacle

Project team

Architect: Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane / Architects (DGT), Paris

Engineering: Bollinger + Grohmann, Elan​

Partners: Alimentation Générale, La Ruche qui dit Oui, Polychrone, Sous Les Fraises, AgroParisTech, Galerie Magda Danyzs, NQ13, Engie

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