New images of Jean Nouvel's regeneration of former Renault factory on Île Seguin, Paris
With 30,000 labourers at its peak, the Renault factory on Île Seguin in Boulogne-Billancourt was a hubbub of industrial action from 1920 to 1992. After lying dormant for many years, the vast concrete structure was torn to the ground, as billionaire collector Francois Pinault planned a contemporary art museum on the island. This never came to fruition however, and in July 2009 Jean Nouvel was selected as urban architect-coordinator of a regenerative masterplan for the formally vibrant ship-shaped Île Seguin.
New renderings for the diverse complex have now been released, showcasing Nouvel's collaboration with landscape artist Michel Desvigne and light artist Yann Kersalé. The results show the dislocated island location transformed into a flourishing natural habitat, with masses of natural light illuminating Desvigne's loosely manicured parks and gardens.
These expanses of green are interspersed with areas of urban regeneration, with cultural, retail and social facilities directed towards visitors both domestic and international. In the centre of the River Seine, Île Seguin has the potential to become ‘a small town right in the centre of the city of Paris' - an idea that the architect presented in an opinion article in Le Monde.
Moored by four robust bridges, the sweeping land mass will feature an innovative cinema complex produced by Europalace Pathé, a planned higher institute for digital arts, the digital Bouglione circus, a residence hall for artists, a hotel, grand central glasshouse garden, strings of meeting places, shops offering cultural and recreational goods and high-profile corporations operating in the cultural and media-related sectors.
There are also plans for a variety of structures for artists, gallery owners, collectors, craft workers and exhibit halls spanning 20,000 sq m and a large-scale musical complex sponsored by the Hauts-de-Seine General Council. Construction is due to begin in 2012 with completion expected in 2023.