Les Halles

Paris 1st

Located in the heart of the city and built in the 1970’s, the Forum des Halles is the largest underground complex open to the public ever constructed in Europe. Laid out over five basement levels, it groups together a multimodal public transport hub, a leading shopping centre, public cultural and leisure amenities as well as sports facilities. An underground road network and several car parks lie within its perimeter.
The project recreates urban continuities over an area stretching from the Bourse de commerce (commodity exchange building) to the Georges Pompidou Centre. The intention is that the Halles district should join the other interlinked large public spaces to be found in central Paris. It provides a new quality in the relations between the underground world and the city’s street level while taking into consideration its importance as the largest gateway to Paris by positioning its generously dimensioned opening onto the city above the Place Basse of the old Forum. The Canopée, designed by Patrick Berger and Jacques Anziutti, provides the formal expression of this new link.
A vast, uniting space on street level formed by a meadow contained within two planted borders allows the size of the park to fully express itself. Organised around a central lane running across the entire site, it extends from the Bourse de Commerce building to Boulevard de Sébastopol, passing below the roof of the Canopée.


Nelson-Mandela Park (4,3 hectares), redevelopment of the Forum, redevelopment of the underground roadways, redevelopment of the pedestrian sector

Technical file

Client : Ville de Paris-Sempariseine / RATP (Île-de-France region and transport federation) / Unibail
Project management : SEURA architectes, Philippe Raguin (landscape designer), Light Cibles (lighting designers), ETC (Travel movement engineers), Saguez & Partners (designer), Grontmij Sechaud Bossuyt (engineers)
Surface : 33 hectares
Cost : € 800 M excl. VAT (all projects mixed up)
Mission : coordination of the entire operation / project management for underground works concerning the old and the new Forum / project management for the underground roadways / project management for the Nelson-Mandela Park / project management for the Forum entrances and gates / project management for the construction camp / project management for additional works (Berger car park, north-south strip, sports programme for the tropical greenhouses, premises for the gardeners...)
Schedule : 2004 - Under construction