In the heart of the capital, architect Franklin Azzi is writing a new chapter in Parisian passages, with the aptly named Beaupassage: a gallery of 4 square meters of floor space entirely dedicated to epicureans. An alliance of the traditional and the contemporary, in the facades as in the plates.

Last August, Beaupassage opened in the popular 7arrondissement of Paris: a link between boulevard Raspail, rue de Grenelle and rue du Bac, but also and above all between four centuries of history. An exquisite corpse for a temple of the exquisite!

If the official inauguration took place barely three months ago, the adventure actually dates back seven years before, when the promoter Laurent Dumas and his company Emerige acquired two adjoining pieces of town, which do not communicate with each other and accuse an elevation difference of one meter. A long process of radiography, design and renovation carried out by the B&B agency then begins, before Franklin Azzi joins the team. A few hyperrealistic sketches were then enough to convince the client to entrust the French designer with the consistency of this set made up of six new or rehabilitated buildings, dating from the XNUMXth century.e the XXcentury. Among these, the little-known Récollettes Convent - a female counterpart to the Récollets Convent located in the 10arrondissement in Paris -, and the emblematic 1930s building designed by Denis Honegger rue de Grenelle, whose porch constitutes one of the three accesses of the operation today revisited by the artists Eva Jospin, Fabrice Hyber and Romain Bernini . Even more improbable in this urban imbroglio, the presence of a Renault hall in metal, brick and glass.

Three years of work were necessary so that, behind the facades of apartment buildings that have shaped the profile and reputation of the City of Light, the most adventurous taste buds do not discover the hidden side of the district: industrial this time. Ironically, the five-storey garage, formerly hidden from view, has become one of the flagship structures of the operation, including an underground logistics area - which required significant sub-repairs. work -, shops on one level and in R + 1, offices and penthouse accommodation. The replaced or added bricks here deliberately contrast with the original pavers, in order to introduce a "Concept of architectural carbon 14"as the designer likes to say.

In the mixed Beaupassage block, we eat and work in one of the 14 commercial lots, but we also live in 59 dwellings - including 10 social -, ranging from studios to T5 of 200 square meters. Everything is connected on the ground floor by an open-air pedestrian crossing paved and vegetated by the landscape designer Michel Desvignes. An intervention that Franklin Azzi justifies in all humility: "I am like a general practitioner, if I need it, I ask specialists". Between the 14 stalls in which big names in gastronomy have installed new culinary concepts within reach of all budgets, this plant artist has reproduced a sampling of species present in the forests of Île-de-France. Finally, "It has become an urban shortcut, almost a passage of desire which, although it is private, has all the qualities of a public space", tenderly concludes the master builder.

A contemporary gallery which, if it takes up the codes of the traditional shopping gallery, stands out and offers more than a passage: a ballad in the land of the senses.

To learn more, visit the Franklin Azzi site 

Photographs: Alexandre Tabaste, Charlotte Donke and Anne Emmanuelle Thion

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