In a few words
Avenue Denfert-Rochereau in Paris. Saint-Vincent de Paul Hospital is closing its doors, the City takes over the site to develop new housing. Before the work begins, there is a lag of several years. It is in this context, and on the basis of the question “How to boldly and generously use a four hectare site temporarily available in the heart of Paris?” that the Grands Voisins project was built. The empty premises of the old hospital first welcomed homeless people, then craftsmen, associations or young structures who set up their workshops and offices there. We then opened the site to the public, with family and sports facilities, camping, catering, a conference room, cultural activities and artistic programming. The project quickly becomes a destination, a very lively place where social, productive, commercial and cultural activities coexist with intensity. When he arrives on site, the developer in charge of building the future district proposes to extend the project as much as possible in parallel with the construction sites, believing that the social vitality produced by the Grands Voisins contributes directly to his urban development mission.
The Grands Voisins project marks a turning point in the history of the association. The size of the site allows the full range of our know-how to be expressed; the team is growing; we set up the central bar La Lingerie to finance the fittings and activities; we start paying ourselves salaries; we discover social work and build a relationship of trust with our partners Aurore and Plateau Urbain.
Paris and Metropolis Aménagements, City of Paris
(formerly Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris, then Etablissement Public Foncier in Île-de-France)
60 public hours per week
Four million euros annual joint management budget
Season 1 :
20,000 m² of buildings and 15,000 m² of outdoor spaces, 250 structures installed in the premises, 600 accommodation places, 4,000 visitors per day
Season 2 :
10,000 m² of built space and 3,500 m² of outdoor space, 140 structures, 100 accommodation places, 1 day care center for asylum seekers, 4,000 visitors per day
Site management, emergency accommodation, day care for asylum seekers, integration through employment.
Choice and management of occupants of the premises and animation of their network, technical coordination
Paris & Métropole Aménagement
Developer of the city of Paris, owner of the site
- The societal utility of the possibility of occupying temporarily disused spaces in dense city centers free of charge: emergency accommodation, social work, inexpensive workspaces …
- The establishment of counters and citizen involvement systems at the level of a neighborhood.
- The construction of a place of cultural destination, and multiple artistic experiences, accessible to the greatest number.
- Demonstration by experience in a temporary format to inspire elsewhere.
- The richness and responsiveness of a three-headed economic and management model, from different professions
- The model’s resilience and its adaptability to contemporary changes and crises.