Envisaged by the GA Group, the Universal City is a property complex measuring nearly 30,000 m², located near Porte de Pantin, in the east of Paris. Selected as part of the “Reinventing.Paris 2” call for innovative projects launched by the City of Paris, the Universal City is open to all, whether or not they have a disability.
It is more than a real estate project; it is a manifesto
The Universal was conceived as a symbol of universal accessibility, inspired by Ryadh Sallem, high-level athlete, activist, social and solidarity economy entrepreneur and Paris 2024 Ambassador.
Because, to date, Paris has not had a sports infrastructure capable of properly accommodating athletes with disabilities. In France, no hotel has more than 5% accessible rooms for people with reduced mobility. The idea of a property complex which is inherently accessible to everyone and all forms of disability is therefore very much needed.
Co-designed by Baumschlager Eberle Architekten and Studio Montazami, the Universal City in Paris has been imagined as a new gateway to the city.
The GA Group’s investor partner, AEW, acquired the entire project as part of an SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) vehicle. To enable it to be operational before the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Paris in 2024, work is expected to start in the second half of 2020.
An inclusive, open and respectful ecosystem
Made up of four hubs, the Universal City will be a place for meeting and sharing, respectful of diversity and firmly embedded in the circular economy of the district.
The sporting hub consists of a multi-purpose sports centre with a footprint of nearly 3,800 m².
Of the 1,000 seats, 20% will be accessible to people with reduced mobility. This is 10 times the norm.
Serving as the training ground and headquarters of the CAPSAAA adapted sports club, this fully modular venue will host national and international competitions, and will host the preparations for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Health hub, operated by IPSO Santé, will meet the daily needs of the users of the Universal City as well as residents.
The “work’in” hub will host a coworking space operated by Startway, 18,000 m² of offices and the headquarters of the Handitech association.
The Hospitality hub, a 109-room hotel complex, all wheelchair-accessible, including 55 wheelchair-friendly studios and a number of medical rooms, will complete this ecosystem.
Agricultural produce from the 1,000 m² rooftop will supply the inter-company restaurant, as well as the restaurant and grocery store on the ground floor, open to inhabitants of the district and, more broadly, to residents of the Île-de-France area.
All these places will be open to everyone.
Anchored in the environment of the Parc de la Villette, the building will benefit from an ascending, circular outdoor walkway.
The Universal City, a pioneer in the areas of accessibility and environmental certification
The Universal City in Paris will be the first new building with LA accessibility label AAA certification, issued by CERTIVEA. This label represents the most demanding requirement in terms of accessibility.
The off-site construction approach developed by the GA Group and its subsidiary Ossabois , will also minimise disruption to local residents.
Finally, it will be a joint GA and Ossabois low carbon construction laboratory in mixed wood/concrete.
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