Three years of work aimed at making the district more open to the city, easier to access and more welcoming have breathed new life into Les Halles. A lovely new garden, an extended pedestrian area, a huge glass and metal roof (the Canopy), a more functional regional train station, a more modern, light-filled shopping centre and a revamped underground road are among the attractive new features of Les Halles.
The surface buildings and courtyard have been replaced and covered with a new structure called the Canopy made up of translucent glass panels, which allow air and sunlight to filter through and fill the space with natural light. The entire road network of the partly-underground Forum des Halles shopping centre has been refurbished, while the escalators and stair risers are now made of glass to brighten up the Forum. The Canopy covers two buildings housing public facilities and shops: the new centre of Les Halles.
The district’s cultural venues (a conservatory, a library, a hip-hop centre and a centre for amateur arts practitioners) have been made more spacious, and are open for all residents and visitors to enjoy.
The Forum houses 130 shops over a surface area of 6,300 m², with a focus on Parisian fashion. Brands such as Sandro, Jonak and Maje are located on the lower levels. New arrivals include Danish toymaker Lego, British sportswear brand Superdry, German cosmetics brand Rituals and American ready-to-wear brand Forever 21. There is also a dedicated area for emerging French and international designers.
The Châtelet-Les Halles transit hub has also been revamped as part of the overall renovation project to give passengers on metro lines and commuter routes to the suburbs a safer, smoother experience. The passenger hall has been totally renovated. It is now 50% larger than before, with three new entrances from the outside offering quick, direct access to the trains. A new corridor lined with services and shops connects Place Marguerite de Navarre and Place Carré. The fire safety system has been modernized. The suburban train platforms and walkways connecting the different lines have also been renovated.
Website : parisleshalles.fr/