In the 15th arrondissement, the modernization of two metro maintenance centers will be accompanied by the construction of a quarter of 400 housing units.

By Grégoire Allix Posted today at 15h55, updated at 15h55

Time to Reading 2 min.

The future social housing on the site of the RATP's Vaugirard Workshops, along a street created by the development operation.
The future social housing on the site of the RATP's Vaugirard Workshops, along a street created by the development operation. Dominique Lyon Architects / Christ & Gantenbein

Between rue Lecourbe and rue Desnouettes, part of the large brick and red tile workshops occupied since 1910 by the RATP have been razed, giving way to a vast wasteland. On this parcel of 15e Paris borough, Tuesday, February 19, the transport authority was to lay the foundation stone of a development of 2.3 hectares that will give birth to 400 homes, half of which housing, but also to a new Paris street, shops and a day care center. Originality: the maintenance workshops of Line 12 of the metro will continue to work throughout the works and beyond, once the neighborhood is completed.

"It's the challenge and the prowess of this project: build a city on our workshops without ever interrupting the activity", appreciates Jean-Louis Houpert, real estate director of the RATP. The transformation of the Vaugirard workshops marks a new stage in the urban strategy of the Régie. The philosophy is simple: "We want to maintain our industrial footprint in Paris, where we are one of the biggest employers of blue-collar workers, and modernize this tool thanks to its urban integration and land valuation", explains Houpert. In 2014, the Régie made a commitment to the City of Paris to create 2,000 housing units in ten years.

Emerige and Icade will build a private housing building on the Vaugirard Ateliers site.
Emerige and Icade will build a private housing building on the Vaugirard Ateliers site. Emerige – Icade / Hamonic + Masson & Associates

On sites that are worth gold, RATP offers developers to build housing buildings above its bus depots and maintenance centers, which find themselves buried under the city. The building rights finance part of the modernization of this aging industrial tool, at a time when buses and new generation metros are deployed on the network – the future trains of line 12 are expected in 2026. Vaugirard is thus the third of its kind, after the spectacular transformations of the Lagny bus depots (20e arrondissement) and Jourdan (14e).

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65% of vegetated surfaces

In its first phase, the Vaugirard operation will allow, by 2023, the construction of private residences – developed by an Emerige-Icade group – and social housing of RATP Habitat. But also a maintenance workshop for electronic and electropneumatic metro equipment, which will replace the old abandoned workshop of industrial maintenance vehicles. Balance sheet of this first tranche: 53 million euros of receipts for 119 million investments.

The future electronic equipment maintenance workshop (on the left) and social housing (on the right), seen from the metro maintenance tracks.
The future electronic equipment maintenance workshop (on the left) and social housing (on the right), seen from the metro maintenance tracks. Dominique Lyon Architects / Christ & Gantenbein

A second, more delicate step will be to transform the subway workshop – by keeping the symbol of some of the industrial heritage – and surround it with residential buildings, even as fifty agents are busy every day. to maintain some of the fifty oars of the line, carried there by a tunnel whose rails lead to the heart of the islet. A close cohabitation between metro movements, workshop work and the lives of local residents, at the risk of neighborhood conflicts. "The mix of uses and the social mix are part of our main principles, such as architectural quality and consultation with the inhabitants: the project has not met with any recourse", defends Mr. Houpert.

The RATP also highlights the exceptional greening of the future island, which will display 65% ​​of vegetated surfaces. A performance achieved not by open-air surfaces and a canopy of tall trees, but thanks to 700 m2 of urban agriculture, balconies planted, and especially 15 000 m2 roofs covered with plant moss, especially on workshops in the heart of the island. Green roofs far from always keeping their promises.

One of the private housing buildings developed by Icade and Emerige on the site of the Vaugirard workshops.
One of the private housing buildings developed by Icade and Emerige on the site of the Vaugirard workshops. Emerige and Icade / Ibos and Vitart Architects

Grégoire Allix

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