What if you could legally (and hygienically) swim in an abandoned Parisian Metro station?
That’s just one of the options on the table if Parisians vote for Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. Nathalie, a member of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire party, is one of six candidates running for mayor of Paris next month. And one of her most-popular platforms she’s running on happens to be what to do with the underground Metro platforms that aren’t used anymore.
From OXO Architectes:
The parisian métropolitain is closely related to the life of the City of Light. Its stations are nearly as famous as its boulevards, its churches, its museums.
From Champs-Elysées to Bastille, from Arts et Métiers to Châtelet, each one is unique, each one has its own story to tell. Every Parisian has their favorite metro station!
Some emblematic places in Paris, such as l’Arsenal, Porte des Lilas, Porte Molitor or Champs de Mars, used to have namesake metro stations. But after closure, they slowly fell into oblivion.
This project aims to bring back to life these ghost stations by giving them a new purpose.
At a time when New-York is talking about the ‘Lowline’, why couldn’t Paris profit from its underground potential and invent new functions for these abandoned places?
This is about a slow transformation, to find, as opportunities arise, a new and thrilling way to take possession of these places.
To swim in the metro seems like a crazy dream, but it could soon come true! Turning a former metro station into a swimming-pool or a gymnasium could be a way to compensate for the lack of sports and leisure facilities in some areas.
A theatre on a disused platform could be an amazing venue for artists, choreographers or dancers to perform, in an outstanding yet familiar setting.
Why not open a night club in the Arsenal station? Close to La Bastille, a vibrant neighborhood, it is the perfect location to party in the heart of Paris without the risk of disturbing the neighbors.
An underground garden could be a place to enjoy calm and quietness on a rainy day, in a completely new environment.
And why not also imagine an art gallery, a space for artists to work and perform, or even a restaurant!
Far from their original purpose, more than a century after the opening of Paris’ underground network, these places could show they’re still able to offer new urban experiments.
The photos above are all renderings of what the old Arsenal station provided by OXO Architectes, a firm based in Paris that is eager to take the challenge of repurposing the abandoned spaces. At l’Arsenal, the rendering above shows what it could look like if they turned it into a public pool; some of the other proposals by OXO include a restaurant, garden, nightclub, theater, and an art gallery.
Who knows what could happen, or if any of these ideas could even see fruition in the near future; however, a proposal like this coming from the most-visited city in the world is sure to get people thinking, and sooner or later we will progress into a world where our art and public spaces are one and the same.
Check out a more in-depth story by BBC ->