On the 8th of April 2013, an agreement was signed between Bertrand Delanoë, the Mayor of Paris, François Weil, Rector of the academic region of Île-de-France and the Chancellor of the universities of Paris and Marcel Pochard, President of the Fondation nationale Cité internationale universitaire de Paris. It approved the Cité internationale’s new development plan and designated it as the project owner of the operation.
The overlapping of the Cité internationale’s land belonging to three different owners (the City of Paris, the Chancellery of the Universities of Paris and the State), as well as the tunnelling for the ring road in the 1960s, prevented the construction of new residences after 1969.
A framework land agreement signed in 2011 between the state, the City of Paris, the chancellery of the universities of Paris and the Cité internationale started a new phase of construction intending to welcome students and researchers from around the world. According to this agreement, the City of Paris gave complete rights of the land to the state, constituting a total of 16,000 m². From its side, the City could create housing for researchers in the résidence Victor Lyon of which it had become the lessor, and 61 reservation rights have been given to future constructions. Finally, the state also gives the City of Paris several rights of way to roads on the ring road.
The signing of the tripartite agreement between the City of Paris, the chancellery of universities and the Cité Internationale in 2013 allowed for the setting and approval of the large orientations of its development plan. In application of this convention, the Cité internationale is the project owner of this operation whose principle aim is to make the plots constructible in order to build 10 new houses but also to expand and redefine the park in order to showcase its landscaping structure and to galvanise and rebalance its usage. The site preparation and equipment work prior to the construction of future houses as well as the studies necessary for the operation were funded by the loans from “Plan Campus”.
The Cité internationale is a symbol of openness to the world, a place dedicated to the love of liberty. So, from the moment when Paris has never been so attractive, this agreement for the Cité internationale’s development signifies that we have the intention of taking our ambition further and doing so together.
The guide plan, realised by EXP architectes, served as a framework for a consultation launched at the end of June 2013, with the aim of entrusting a multidisciplinary team with two key missions: the landscaping, urbanisation and architecture of the site’s development operations and the architectural coordination of the new housing programmes. Following the European-only invitation in which several renowned architects participated, the group Bruno Fortier / TN+ was chosen by the Cité internationale as the project owner for the operation. The EPAURIF, coordination of the work, played a determining role.
The new houses are established on the edge of the ring road and consideration was paid to how these volumes will be established.
The winning team confirmed the main orientations of the guide plan in its offer and which were taken up, reinterpreted and amplified. The characteristics of each sector of the park (the gardens, the main mall and the park that surrounded the central lawn) were showcased by large-scale propositions that reinforce, within the notion of “urban forest”, the impact and functions of the Cité internationale in Greater Paris. The of the park’s ecological corridor was reinforced both in the east, west, north and south of the park. Other orientations were studied to showcase the southern fringe of the park where there is a concentration of new buildings: the residences’ gables overlooking the ring road are treated as “paintings” in order to make the new buildings a true ensemble, expressing the identity of the Cité internationale. The development project will restore the original design of the Cité internationale by refinding the balance between the North and the South and by reunifying the east and west parts of the campus.
Work began in 2016 and will be carried out in two phases:
The new spaces have been opened to the public. In the west park, the rugby stadium was completely renovated. It has welcomed athletes since the beginning of the 2017 school year. In the east, the football stadium and the tennis courts were also renovated and a new building was constructed for the changing rooms. Thanks to their synthetic coverings, the stadiums can welcome a larger number of athletes. Modernised and lit, they are usable in all seasons and with extended time slots.
The development work allowed the park to be enlarged and embellished. The second largest park in Paris, this 34-hectare space is one of Southern Paris’s green lungs. Under eco-management since 2009, it constitutes an exceptional landscape heritage that promotes the blossoming of an important biodiversity within inner Paris. The park is made up of gardens, wooded areas, large tree-lined paths and a large central lawn. It houses around 3000 trees, around one hundred plant species and 52 species of birds.