Les Quatres Temps in Paris, France at one time the largest retail center in Europe. In a project worth nearly $200 million, the renovation and expansion has given the center a coherent and contemporary image that offers retailers ample space for merchandising on the facade and within its shopping areas.
The showcase element of the expansion is a new building, Le Dome. There, a central mast supports the steel and glass roof of the building through tensile cables. The central space has no structural pylons creating an open central hall. In a hat tip to the city, the mast sits at a seven-degree angle — the same angle at which the Louvre and Grande Arche intersect the Champs-Élysées.
Forum des Halles, Paris, France is a large park and underground shopping center in the center of Paris. It is the former site of the famous Halles, the open markets immortalized by Émile Zola in Le ventre de Paris.
For eight hundred years, this area was the central market for Paris. Initially it included businesses of all types, but by the 1500s, it had specialized in just food. Over time, it got more and more crowded, and by the 1900s, it was becoming a serious logistical problem. As a result, in 1969, the markets were moved to a vast area in the suburb of Rungis, very near Orly Airport to the south. A big empty space was left in this spot after the markets moved, and it was more or less a big hole for years (in fact, it was nicknamed le trou des Halles—the hole of the Halles—by the natives in consequence).
After quite a few years, it was finally decided to transform the “hole” into what it is today, namely, a large and pretty park on the surface, a huge underground shopping center beneath that, and the world’s largest underground subway station beneath that (the Châtelet-les-Halles station).
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