Europa City: France’s new Utopia


Danish wunderkind Bjarke Ingles and his world-renowned architecture firm BIG is starting construction this year on one of the most important projects ever won by the company: Europa City. Awarded to BIG in 2013 after an international competition, Europa City is set to become a modern utopia located 16 km outside Paris. Designed over 800,000sqm, this new development is as much an urban planning experiment as it is a social undertaking. By combining visionary master planning with considered landscaping, Europa City will attract tourists and visitors to the northern suburbs of the French capital, as well as local residents from the surrounding areas. This enormous development will feature recreational, cultural and retail facilities that will include a circus, theme park, exhibition halls and ski-slopes and more.
The project will take the form of a large mound, undulating out of the ground and accessible by the metro station nearby. The complex is organized around a central plaza, with radial streets shooting out from the middle towards numerous entry points along the perimeter. These streets are connected by “the loop”, and then, as Bjarke Ingles says, “the neighborhood is comprised of a series of sequences, each with its own unique character and quality”, broken down into sports facilities, leisure area, cultural amenities and a nature zone.
The entire complex will be broken down further by extensive layering of walkways, open plazas, green landscaping and urban streets, emulating the energy of Paris itself and creating contrasts, both visually and spatially, of excitement and tranquility. Europa City is situated on the way to Charles De Gaulle airport and is intended to enliven and promote the area, which is currently used for agriculture. The planned opening is in 2024.

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