Paris, 27 September, 2004 - Paris 2012 announced today that the project proposal submitted by architects
Yves Pagès and Benoît Le Thierry d’Ennequin of France have won the Grand Prize
in the architecture international competition for the creation and erection of
an Olympic Landmark launched in June 2004.
The Olympic Landmark will be erected temporarily as early as December 2004 in
Les Batignolles, the site in northwest Paris selected as the location for the
Olympic Village should the French capital be designated to host the 2012 Olympic
and Paralympic Games.
The Olympic Landmark, submitted by Pagès and Le Thierry d’Ennequin, is an incandescent 80-meter
high, flexible and light tower that will serve as the signal commemorating Paris’
Olympic ambitions. Keeping with Paris 2012’s Olympics approach of "contained but
not constrained", the tower is designed to bend and move with the wind and includes
a circle of helium rings that will be illuminated at night.
"This Olympic is a true work of ingenuity with elements of modernity, energy
and generosity that will infuse our Bid and our city for years to come", said
Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris. "The Landmark is the first tangible sign of
the Paris 2012 Olympic aspirations and embodies all the positive messages we wish
to convey about the Olympic spirit."
Scheduled to open to public in early 2005, the structure will support a 30-meter
high platform that will offer visitors spectacular views on Paris. It will also
symbolize the rejuvenation of Les Batignolles, currently a blighted 50-hectare
area that has not seen significant development over the past 40 years. The Landmark
will serve as the heart of an exhibition centre on Paris 2012 and its legacy,
aimed to offer Parisians and visitors the opportunity to appreciate the scale
of this exceptional urban redevelopment and to engage them in the project.
"The jury was stunned by the high quality, the diversity and the generosity of
the projects received from all around the world", said Essar Gabriel, COO of Paris
2012 and President of the Jury of the international architecture competition.
"The project we have selected will be a strong visual landmark, creating views
while being viewable from everywhere in Paris. It will be a perfect place to anticipate,
imagine and create the future of Paris. It will mark the Olympic destiny of Les
Batignolles and will reveal its urban potential."
About the international architecture competition for the creation and erction of
an Olympic Landmark
The international architecture competition for the creation and erection of an
Olympic landmark, a joint initiative between Paris 2012 and the Pavillon de l’Arsenal
- Paris’ information, documentation and exhibition centre for urban design and
architecture - proved to be a success with more than 1,800 applicants from 87
countries and more than 400 projects submitted before the September 6 deadline.
The competition’s jury was composed of an international panel of the architectural
industry’s most celebrated artists and designers, including Inaki Àbalos (Spain),
Shigeru Ban (Japan), Stephano Boeri (Italy), Eric Carlson (USA), Peter Cook (UK),
Finn Geipel (Germany), Marc Mimram (France) and Jean Nouvel (France). The jury
also included leading authorities of the French State, the Ile-de-France Region
and Paris City, the double Olympic Champion in Canoe-Kayak Tony Estanguet and
Paralympic Champion in Tennis Table Guy Tisserand.
The Olympic landmark international architecture competition was open to all designers
around the world and was launched on June 1st through the Paris 2012 website http://architecture.parisjo2012.fr
. All projects submitted will be exhibited at the Pavillon de L’Arsenal on November
About the regeneration of les Batignolles
From the urban point of view, hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is
a unique opportunity to accelerate the redevelopment of northern Paris and to
stimulate regional economic development.
The construction of the Olympic Village in Les Batignolles is conceived as an
exemplary urban regeneration project in one of the last sites in Paris still to
be redeveloped. It will be the most important refurbishment initiative in central
Paris since the Baron Haussmann who gave its current face to the French capital
in the 19th Century.
The creation of the new Batignolles neighborhood will provide a 45-hectare model
urban development project within Paris. It will combine contemporary urban planning,
exemplary architecture, and impressive landscape design, all within a framework
of sustainable development. In its post-Olympic use, the Olympic Village will
become a new and revitalized quarter of the French capital and a new benchmark
of the highest level of environmental standards, offering to Parisians new housing,
offices, parklands, schools and community and leisure facilities.
The implementation and legacy of this "Olympic quarter" would represent a historical
landmark in the life of the French capital.
Verbatim from the international jury
"The Olympic Games are a very beautiful occasion to change dramatically a city
and the way in which its citizens use it. The values of the Olympic ideal are
very difficult to restore in an architectural project. They are nevertheless more
necessary than ever. The most remarkable idea of the project Paris 2012 is to
place the Olympic Village in intra-muros Paris. The project of the prize winner
of the competition is, at the same time, synthetic and elegant. It uses a very
flexible technology and will be a symbol of Paris. The constraints of this competition
were not obvious… this is certainly why the countries involved in the competition
deployed such energy".
Inaki Àbalos (Spain)
"The creation of this Olympic Landmark is a very rich idea on behalf of Paris.
This Landmark will make it possible to measure the progress of the Paris’ Olympic
project and especially to appreciate the Paris 2012 concept: an Olympic Village
in the City and two competition clusters, at equal distance of this village. The
adopted project will be a very beautiful window for Paris throughout the world".
Shigeru Ban (Japan)
"The Olympic Games are primarily used to renew, at an individual and collective
level. Paris, one of the most visited cities in the world, is internationally
famous. The project of Paris 2012 will allow Paris to show its contemporary vision
to the whole world. The force of the project of the prize winner lies in its symbolic
presence. The suggested design is a perfect balance between the Olympic values
and the values of Paris. An architectural competition is completely in agreement
with a sporting competition: both are concretized by extraordinary efforts".
Eric Carlson (USA)
"The Olympic Games are a unique opportunity of physical self-surpassing, internationalism,
and sharing between cultures. Paris 2012 had the intelligence to show its desire
for hosting the Games in 2012 by already initiating this architecture competition.
This dynamic response falls under the same spirit that the Paris’ Bid".
Peter Cook (UK)
"I was positively surprised by the outstanding quality of the projects received
for the creation of the Paris 2012 Olympic landmark. This passion is directly
related to the symbolic behind the subject itself: the Olympic ideal and the city
of Paris. By choosing this project, we sought to symbolize the Olympic values
and associate them with the urban development in large capitals. The project indeed
vehicles a very strong idea and conciliate the notions of sustainable development
and social co-education. This landmark will show what the Olympic ideal can bring
to large cities in this area".
Finn Geipel (Germany)
"The Olympic Games are one of these rare moments where the North meets the South,
where the performance is shared... This planetary event is synonymous with celebration,
in spite of defeats. 2012 should be a reflection of the French Republic values,
of freedom, equality, and solidarity. And generosity… The project of the winner
of the competition reminds the values of the Olympic ideal, it floats with the
wind and varies with the liking of the knowledge. The great number of projects
received shows the passion of all for Paris 2012".
Marc Mimram (France)
"To me, the Olympic Games evoke fraternity on a planetary scale, and values such
as control and self-surpassing. My contribution to the project Paris 2012 via
the international architecture competition is motivated by a simple desire: enrich
Paris. The selected project evokes a light symbol of optimism, it was selected
amongst numerous others, all very inventive and very generous...".
Jean Nouvel (France)