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Grand Paris Express Unveils “Show Pavilion” at Les Halles Shopping Center.
PARIS — The Grand Paris Express, hailed as “Europe’s largest mobility and urban planning project,” is taking center stage at the heart of the bustling Forum des Halles with an immersive installation aimed at offering the public a tantalizing glimpse into the future of Paris’s transportation landscape.
Promising an extraordinary experience that delves into the forthcoming Grand Paris Express, the Pavilion d’exposition, designed by renowned architect Dominique Perrault (the creative genius behind the future Villejuif-Institut-Gustave-Roussy station, set to interconnect lines 14 and 15), opens its doors beneath the soaring glass canopy of Westfield Forum des Halles. Its primary mission: to illustrate how the new metro network will revolutionize suburban access and foster “social rebalancing.”
The Pavilion, a colossal cube measuring approximately forty square meters, is adorned with a kaleidoscope of photographs showcasing some of the 68 Grand Paris Express stations. It boasts giant maps, including one that juxtaposes the forthcoming network with a 1731 map of Paris and its environs, along with informative data sheets in both French and English. In essence, it’s a comprehensive guide to this ambitious transit initiative, projected to accommodate up to three million passengers daily by 2030.
Venturing inside the “immersive” cube, visitors are enveloped by a 360° screen, where a mesmerizing film unfolds. This film seamlessly combines historical footage, computer-generated visions of forthcoming stations, and snapshots of construction sites, providing a continuous narrative of the Grand Paris Express’s evolution.
The Pavilion of the Grand Paris Express, its dual loops set to traverse no less than 153 communes within the Paris region, stands proudly above the bustling transport hub of Châtelet-les Halles, a crossroads for three RER and five metro lines. This location is not coincidental, as Dominique Perrault notes, “It is an interesting choice. Because it’s precisely the place where we’d like to stop having to systematically pass through.” His comment underscores the project’s intent to liberate Parisians from the gravitational pull of centrality that has long defined the region’s transport networks.
While the Grand Paris Express Pavilion is a temporary fixture, scheduled for dismantling on November 7, it is followed by the eagerly anticipated “Métro! Le Grand Paris en mouvement” exhibition, opening at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine de Paris (Capa) on the following day and set to run for seven months. The exhibition aims to educate the public about the metro’s history, emphasizing its continuous transformation of Greater Paris’s boundaries since its expansion beyond the capital’s administrative borders in 1934, initially reaching Boulogne-Billancourt.
For those seeking a unique and immersive introduction to the Grand Paris Express, the Pavillon du Grand Paris Express, nestled on level – 3 of the Canopée des Halles, welcomes visitors from Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8.30 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. Don’t miss this limited-time opportunity to experience the future of urban mobility and connectivity.