Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Underground Party in Paris

We have a soft-spot for large civic projects that provide city dwellers places to loiter, ahem, congregate. Places that make the sometimes-grinding, cramped nature of city life totally worthwhile. Places like Chicago’s Millenium Park–free to use, feature frequent events and add luster to their host city. We like em even better when they use existing, but neglected infrastructures like NYC’s High Line, the derelict elevated railroad that was converted into a gorgeous, two-mile park. Parisian mayoral candidate Nathalie Koziuscot-Morizet has an ambitious idea along these lines. She wants to convert unused Métro stations into amazing, subterranean, public playgrounds.

Several prominent architects have already submitted proposals for what to do with these “stations fantomes” (ghost stations). Ideas for use include a swimming pool, theater, restaurant and nightclub. There are eight stations up for consideration. Some, like the Arsensal station used in the renderings, haven’t been active since 1936. Others were never used due to planning changes made decades ago.

If this all seems a bit outrageous, consider that the High Line sat unused from the 1960s to 2009. Though we don’t know much (well, anything) about Koziuscot-Morizet’s politics, we hope this project never sees the light of day–meaning we hope it gets built. Find out more about the project on Koziuscot-Morizet’s campaign page.

Via Messy Nessy Chic

  • Katie Ostrich

    Small correction – the theatre is meant to be general purpose, not ballet-specific.

    Went to her site for more details, and learned the stations fantomes is only one of her projects d’amenangement (city planning projects). She’s also talking about barring most car traffic from arrondisments 1-4, the central four neighborhoods in Paris. She has a rails to trails proposal – she wants to transform the Petite Ceinture (little belt) railway into a bike path with nature areas, community/teaching gardens, etc. She also has plans to re-purpose the stations along the line (not clear what those plans are). Some of her ideas seem like a stretch, but in a city as dense as Paris, you need to stretch a little.

    History of the Petite Ceinture (in English):

    Links to all the projects (en francais):

    • David Friedlander

      thanks for the correction and expansion of her ideas. very interesting.

  • PaoloFM

    While this is certainly fascinating, the fact that all facilities would be underground raises my concerns. Re-use of space is certainly welcome, but I hope that the cost to convert those spaces in terms of safety and HVAC would be limited – otherwise we would sacrifice a much larger footprint to a still cool idea.

  • sue

    don’t forget Montreal’s underground city-been there for many years and it works!!