In 1978, the first Beaugrenelle shopping complex opened, but as the years went by, its owner saw a decline in foot traffic and the deterioration of the buildings due to the separation of the circulation and retail activities. After being abandoned for a while in the middle of the 2000s, it was torn down to make way for something new.
The Beaugrenelle location’s commercial hub, which had been closed since its original construction at the end of the 1970s, finally reopened after a 10-year delay. , the brand-new structure is a massive complex housing three distinct centers on each of its six stories: City, Magnetic, and Panoramic. It opened in the fall of 2013.
This is a huge and highly contemporary endeavor, with its glass ceiling, free WiFi, and 8,000 square meters of rooftop overtaken with vegetation.
Beaugrenelle aims to please as many people as possible; therefore, it has bakeries, clothes stores, grocery stores (including Marks & Spencer), a Path movie multiplex, restaurants, and services ranging from a post office to the police.
It’s still too early to tell if this glass-and-steel building will look old in 20 years like its predecessor did, but it doesn’t seem likely.
History of Centre Commercial Beaugrenelle
The Beaugrenelle commercial center had its origins in the 1970s when a brand new community was being built. When the first Beaugrenelle mall opened in 1979, it was a component of a larger residential complex designed in the prevailing brutalist style at the time.
The mall had fallen on hard times by 1999, forcing new owner, Gecina to begin a massive restoration project in 2003.
Much of this gradual, terminal decline may be traced back to the building’s structure. In keeping with a French utopian vision popular in the 1960s and 1970s, the area’s functional elements, such as stores and residences, were raised and set apart from the traffic below.
Following the decision to revamp the shopping center, Apsys emerged as the top candidate. Since 1996, Apsys has operated as an investor-developer in France and Poland, where it has managed a portfolio of 31 retail centers and launched six new construction projects.
The plan was to demolish the old core, expanding the area around it, connecting it with the city, and lowering it to the Seine.
On October 23, 2013, ten years after it was first announced, the new Beaugrenelle mall opened for business.
Architectural design of Centre Commercial Beaugrenelle
The Parisian architecture company Valode & Pistre, responsible for such notable projects as the Renault Technocentre and the Incity Tower in Lyon, designed the sprawling six-story mall.
There are 120 shops and restaurants over three buildings (Magnetic, Panoramic, and City), totaling 50,000 square meters of fashion retail space. From the banks of the Seine, the 15th arrondissement may be accessed through a covered pedestrian bridge connecting the Magnetic and Panoramic buildings.
The Beaugrenelle Mall is notable for its exoskeleton walkway, which consists of an exterior steel skeleton wrapped inside a glass tube. Its shape is evocative of the nearby Eiffel Tower and Bir-Hakeim Bridge, both architectural marvels in their own right.
Metal, resin, double glass, and lacquered metal are used extensively throughout the mall, giving it a sleek, contemporary feel.
The mall was designed by Denis Valode and Jean Pistre so that it would “fit in with the architectural history of the neighborhood, continuing the aesthetic of the metal-framed architecture of the Bir-Hakeim viaduct and the Eiffel Tower, which are both nearby.” That’s why metal was a natural choice for the latticing that encloses the pathways and frames the building islands.
Highlights of Centre Commercial Beaugrenelle
Light from the skylights shines down into the two atriums, flooding all six levels of the shopping center with natural light. There is a metallic glass roof above each atrium, the color of which shifts according to the time of day and the lighting.
One of the atriums features a coordinating blue mobile by French artist Xavier Veilhan, bridging the gap between shopping and art. Designed for the 2013 Dynamo exhibition at the Grand Palais, the 15-meter-tall ‘Grand Mobile’ has since been displayed elsewhere.
Located within the Cinema Beaugrenelle complex is a Pathé theater with ten screens, created by French architect and designer Ora-to. The wavy ceilings and flooring serve as helpful landmarks as you make your way around the building.
The inside is decorated with ‘Pathé’ yellow, gray, and natural wood, all of which are strong, modern hues. Ora-to also installed service desks and ticket windows topped with white and yellow Corian.
The importance of ensuring the building’s long-term viability led designers and builders to incorporate a green roof. The architects designed a green roof to help reduce urban biodiversity loss. It is the largest green roof in Paris at 7,000 m2.
Forty thousand plant varieties, watered by rainfall, provide food and safeness for birds, bees, and other winged creatures thanks to cooperation with the French League for the Protection of Birds (LPO). Six hives are placed on the roof, and each year, they produce between fifty and one hundred kilograms of honey.
The locals can take care of their own food supply thanks to a 700 square meter communal garden.
Located in Paris’s Javel and Grenelle neighborhoods (15th arrondissement), the Beaugrenelle retail mall is a shopping center. The Eiffel Tower is a couple minutes walk away, and it is a part of the Front-de-Seine housing complex, which is near the Seine River. One of the largest retail centers in the heart of Paris is this one. Beaugrenelle has 120 stores and eateries, making it a cross between a department store and a shopping center.