The Canopy (La Canopee) is a structure built above the station Chatelet-Les-Halles and the Commercial Forum of the district of Les Halles in Paris. It is the realization of a sheltered public space. This volume is semi-excavated, half-raised and culminates at 14 m above the ground. The interior of this space offers several levels of public floor terraces connected by different traffic elements that animate and create the continuous link between the underground architecture, the cultural facilities created above, the garden and the neighborhood. It is an urban environment designed for a life of exchanges and metropolitan transitions in the center of Paris.
The idea behind the winning project of the Patrick Berger and Jacques Anziutti. Beyond its functional vocation, the Canopy affirms, by its monumental character, its symbolic dimension as the gateway to Paris. Its design is inspired by morphogenesis and take into account the urban dynamics of all the flows at play on the site. The work site was occupied with an unprecedented complexity. The structural choices made it possible to implement the project without interrupting the activities either of the station or of the shopping center. Like other major projects in Paris, the Canopy has not escaped criticism or controversy.
The design of the project, drawn by hand, is inspired by the morphogenesis of forms in Nature. The curvilinear forms of the Canopy are the synthesis of all the natural, urban and flux energies acting on the site or even the pressure exerted by the memory of the place and the neighborhood. The geometry of these flows are transmitted into the architecture.