From Beirut in the 1980s, Lina Ghotmeh is also known as a humanist architect and works on the approach known as “Archeology of the Future.” She is not only an architect but also an educator who has worked at numerous institutions, including the Yale School of Architecture and the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. Self-described as “trend resistant,” Ghotmeh takes into account aesthetics, resource conservation, human interaction, environmental safety, and, most importantly, designs that benefit the environment.

Lina Ghotmeh’s “Réalimenter Masséna” received one of the European Architects Review Awards, describing it as an unrivaled innovative design of the future. The Project is a 14-story wooden tower that is both sustainable and environmentally conscious. The dark past of Ghotmeth serves as inspiration for the project. The architect is a refugee from war-torn Beirut who is motivated to “rebuild all that is destroyed.” However, her ground-breaking inventions go beyond restoration; “Réalimenter Masséna” is a residential space that fosters human connections and re-connects architecture with the natural world.

“The main reason for the interest is the growing concern about the lack of understanding of the enormous complexity of the globalized food chain, while initiatives to restore the human dimension to food are flourishing, People are not ambitious enough when they face the challenge of feeding nine billion people by 2050, in a context of pollution and increased global warming,” according to Lina Ghotomeh Architects.

Réalimenter Masséna by Lina Ghotmeh - Sheet1
Réalimenter Masséna_©Lina Ghotmeh Architects

BASIC INFORMATION

Location: Masséna station, Paris 13th
Client: Hertel, promoter investor
Project management: Lina Ghotmeh / DGT; Architects, architect; Elan environment, BET environment; Bollinger + Grohmann, BET structure and facades; Artelia, BET fluids and currents; Apex fire, fire safety consultant and SSI coordinator; Lasa, acoustic
Surface: 1842 m2 total SDP (914 m2 activities and research, 468 m2 housing, 460 m2 management)

LOCATION

Located at one of Paris’s main development areas, Left-Bank Paris, Former Masséna Station has a strategic location. Its location and architecture make it a special turning point between historic and contemporary Paris. It invites users on a journey around the daily cycle of food, from growing through harvest to consumption, drawing on the site history of the train station. The ramps connect the various programs that make up this system with the actors on whom they rely. It serves as a hub for Paris and has a global reach. An international network of partners, including academics, chefs, food economists, experts in agriculture, and dedicated artists, uses this as a hub for collaboration, meetings, and events.

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Réalimenter Masséna_©Lina Ghotmeh Architects

CONCEPT

The goal of this project is to establish a location where the general public can observe and participate in the global search for sustainable food. In order to create an urban garden showcase in the city, Réalimenter Masséna combines the didactic approach, making the building a place of shared knowledge, with the use of sustainable building materials like wood.

Réalimenter Masséna transforms into a public space in the 13th arrondissement, serving as a verdant symbol of the neighborhood’s vibrant life. It is a location where a full food culture can be developed, starting with the grain and ending with the final product. The project emphasizes reuse, closed loops, and self-sufficiency and was inspired by a circular economy both architecturally and programmatically. Realimenter Masséna aids us in developing a stronger bond with the earth’s and living beings’ bodies, both of which support human beings.

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Réalimenter Masséna_©Lina Ghotmeh Architects

URBAN ARCHITECTURE

The relationship of the project’s architecture to the narrow belt, which is traced by a landscaped promenade and depicts the outline of an earlier Paris, is what distinguishes it from other buildings. The small belt continues by winding around the tower and the station via a ramp, the highest point of which would be the Paris skyline. The wooden facade’s transparency, combined with the ramps’ obliqueness, creates an opening towards the outside and encourages movement and walking. A link between culinary, cultural, artistic, and festive journeys is created through architecture. A new model establishes relationships in its places’ non-compartmentalized transversality. Ramps and footbridges beckon the visitor to interact, stroll and take in the Parisian scenery.

REVITALISE THE AREA’S RAILROAD HERITAGE

The Masséna station has been restored with respect for its architectural features, which bear witness to the area’s industrial and railroad history. In order to accommodate an open, transparent urban agriculture space while adhering to the maximum permitted height, the roof of the building has been slightly raised. The arched openings on the new tower’s facade have emphasised the richness of the railway architecture of the old Masséna station. Modern architecture uses a shared language to connect to the district’s memory and history while enhancing what already exists.

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Réalimenter Masséna_©Lina Ghotmeh Architects

SUSTAINABILITY 

Nothing is lost on Realiment Masséna; everything is transformed, including goods, services, waste, resources, water, and energy. The project thus addresses the three pillars of sustainable development—society, the economy, and the environment—through its programme and its architecture. The idea is straightforward: feedback from the land to the product and from the product to the land. The construction of Resupplying Masséna is made of bio-based wood, which is distinctive. Additionally, special effort is made to recycle and reuse materials. For instance, materials from the current site will be used to construct the interior spaces. The development of the circular economy there is greatly aided by the incorporation of the “Cradle to Cradle” concept.

Réalimenter Masséna_©Lina Ghotmeh Architects

Realiment Masséna creates an open environment for the neighbourhood, the city, and the rest of the world to accept new culinary and gustatory customs. The circular economy was used to plan both the construction and the programming of this open and inclusive unifying space for tomorrow’s citizens, where people can cultivate and cultivate themselves.

Bibliography

AEWORLDMAP.COM, 2020. Réalimenter Masséna – Paris, France. [Online]
Available at: https://aeworldmap.com/2020/03/12/realimenter-massena-paris-france/
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AMC ARCHI, 2016. THE WINNERS OF REINVENTING PARIS (3/22): RE-FEEDING MASSÉNA (13TH ARR.). [Online]
Available at: https://www.amc-archi.com/photos/les-laureats-de-reinventer-paris-3-22-realimenter-massena-xiiie-arr,4437/realimenter-massena-lina-gh.1
[Accessed 4 9 2022].

Architecture, L. G., 2015. Réalimenter Masséna – Reinventer Paris Paris, France. [Online]
Available at: https://www.linaghotmeh.com/en/realimenter-massena.html
[Accessed 4 9 2022].

Cole, N., 20220. ARCHITECTURE OF THE FUTURE: RÉALIMENTER MASSÉNA- SUSTAINABLE, INCLUSIVE. [Online]
Available at: https://thefashionplatemag.com/2017/04/30/architecture-of-the-future-realimenter-massena-sustainable-inclusive/
[Accessed 4 9 2022].

DIVISARE, 2016. DGT DORELL GHOTMEH TANE / ARCHITECTS RÉALIMENTER MASSÉNA. [Online]
Available at: https://divisare.com/projects/309635-dgt-dorell-ghotmeh-tane-architects-realimenter-massena
[Accessed 4 9 2022].

MANNS, A., 14 MAR 2019. Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh says garden tower for Paris will be cradle of biodiversity. [Online]
Available at: https://www.cladglobal.com/CLADnews/architecture-design/Completion-date-for-Parisian-garden-tower-complex-pushed-back-to-2020/341164?source=home&p=1
[Accessed 4 9 2022].

Stefano Boeri Architetti, 2017. lina ghotmeh réalimenter masséna – reinverter paris. [Online]
Available at: https://www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net/vertical-forest/lina-ghotmeh-realimenter-massena-reinventer-paris/
[Accessed 4 9 2022].

Author

Architect Neha Bhardwaj has a master's degree in architecture pedagogy. She loves to teach architecture and works hard to make it understandable for her students. Along with architecture, she enjoys writing about her feelings and views poetry as a form of architecture or vice versa.

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