The newspapers in France are reporting that one of the Paris mayoral candidates is a keen user of the Paris metro and, if she wins the elections to be held in March 2014, she has designs for utilising the underground space of abandoned and unloved old stations.
Paris Mayoral candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet wants to allow Parisians to reclaim spaces that have been forsaken and left to become derelict. French architects Manal Rachdi and Nicolas Laisné have come up with some proposals for re-energising deserted metro stations and they are certainly giving Ms Kosciusko-Morizet a huge amount of publicity. Their designs to makeover these old, abandoned metro stations in the city of light are quite simply – astounding.
Fancy a swim in the fast track – well you could be swimming on the old rail tracks at a metro station if this plan goes ahead:
Paris Metro facts:
The Paris metro has 214 km of lines and is used by about 1.5 billion travellers every year. The underground work was begun on 4 October 1898, as part of an agreement between the City of Paris and the Paris Metropolitan Railway Company (CPM); the creator of the project was French engineer Fulgence Bienvenüe.
The Paris Metro network
Line 1 opened on 19 July 1900 and connected the Porte de Maillot to the Porte de Vincennes, providing a service to the summer Olympic Games organised in the Bois de Vincennes. Parisians immediately loved this new means of transport and a year later, Fulgence Bienvenüe planned an additional network of lines which would not leave any point in Paris more than 500 metres from a metro station.
The ticket was created with the first line and 30,000 were sold on the first day and in 1900 alone, 17 million passengers used a ticket.
The names of Paris Metro stations
The Paris metro includes names of places, events and people with lots of historic references.
Names of now-forgotten activities include: les Gobelins, Glacière
Historic characters include: Philippe Auguste, Etienne Marcel, Saint-Georges Robespierre, Mirabeau, Gambetta, Felix Faure and engineer Fulgence Bienvenüe, the “father” of the Paris metro.
There are a large number of names connected to the Second World War and the Resistance including : Charles de Gaulle, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Guy Môquet, d’Estienne d’Orves, Maréchal Juin, Félix Eboué, Georges Mandel, Gabriel Péri, Charles Michel, Marx Dormoy, Jacques Bonsergent, Colonel Fabien, Jacques Duclos
Poets and writers give their names to some twenty stations including: Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Zola, Alexandre Dumas, the Goncourt brothers and also sculptors: Pigalle, Falguière … and scientists: Monge, Pasteur, Pierre and Marie Curie…
Paris Ghost stations
For historic or commercial reasons, certain stations have been closed down. Some were never opened to the public, such as “Haxo” (a station with no exit), some disappeared, particularly after the Second World War (Arsenal, Champs de Mars, Croix Rouge) and others were never completed (two under La Défense and one at Orly airport). In total there are 11 ghost stations and Ms Kosciusko-Morizet is proposing to target several of these if she wins the Paris elections.
Photo credits: Oxo architects + Laisné Architect