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09-27-2004
Paris 2012 Announces Grand Prize Winner in Olympic Landmark Architecture International Competition

Paris 2012 announced 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 of an Olympic Landmark launched in June 2004.
 
The press release (Doc - 100 Ko)
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 2004.

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)
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