Avenue de France
Client : SEMAPA / Setelec - TPI
Architect of record : Paul Andreu
Architect planner : Wilmotte & Associés SA
Designer : Wilmotte & Industries SAS
Engineer : Setelec - TPI
Area : 4.8 hectares
Redevelopment of the Avenue de France road in Paris and unique furniture design
The Avenue de France belongs to Paris and must be in keeping with its neighbourhoods; it should also be current but without being ostentatious. The avenue is becoming a major thoroughfare for the 13th arrondissement district in which it is located. Rail connections are abundant, both overground via the Gare d’Austerlitz, and underground.
The 44 metre-wide avenue is divided into several zones: two traffic lanes, each bordered by a pavement, and a central reservation lined with tall Ginkgo trees. These elements constitute a fantastic walkway. The north and south pavements are treated as two separate walkways in their own right; more urban in tone, they have retained their light granite paving. Their kerbs, 22 centimetres high, have a step built in to prevent car access and soften their appearance. To keep the central reservation a continuous walkway and help free pedestrians from any obstructions, the various islands are linked by pedestrian walkways. Double strips of royal black granite are a recurring theme along the Avenue, and mirror the paired rows of Ginkgo trees. This concept aims to enhance the avenue’s traffic flow and maintain the pace.
A series of lines perpendicular to the avenue connect the fronts of buildings sitting opposite one another along with the trees.
Central reservation lighting:
In each alcove housing a bench, lights have been installed to ensure illumination of the central reservation and the pavement. Double lamp lights were chosen which provide road lighting at 13 metres and pedestrian lighting at 4.5 metres. Their height provides the necessary lighting with fewer lampposts needing to be installed. Fitted at every four trees, i.e. every 32 metres, the reduced numbers helps avoid a visual and physical overload of the landscape.
In the other alcoves, 4.5 metre-high lampposts are positioned alternately every 16 metres, thereby improving lighting for pedestrians.
South pavement lighting:
Lighting in the covered gallery was designed to create an avenue of light, helping enhance the night time appearance of the avenue.
North pavement lighting:
To improve the lighting on this pavement, we installed a series of double 4.5 metre lights, placed every 16 metres along the royal black granite strip. Their vertical alignment also enhances the general appearance of the avenue. The design of this contemporary furniture plays a part in the continuity of a Parisian tradition, with particular care taken with each individual object. The furniture has become a vital element of this space, helping integrate the avenue within the built-up and organic landscape. The urban furniture thus creates a certain logic between the ground and the environment, helping structure the space and emphasise the lines and alcoves that punctuate the avenue.