Compared to other capitals, Parisian architecture can seem stuck in time, often cited as a "ville musée"; quite literally, a museum city. As charming as that may be to some, the city's forward-thinking mayor, Anne Hidalgo, wants to push Paris to the limits of innovative design. To outline the city's forthcoming skyline, undergrounds, cultural hubs, and commercial centers, Hidalgo called upon design, finance, and architecture professionals to develop an innovative urban project where 23 sites have been designated for an urban experiment of sorts in a competition called "Reinventer Paris."
Planning Korea, a group of artists and architects based in the Gangnam District of Seoul, proposed an atypical set of elevated, connected pods resembling the setting of a Star Wars movie. The concept, named "L'air Nouveau de Paris", located above the Boulevard Périphérique (a controlled-access dual-carriageway ring road) in the city's 17th arrondissement, would be used for offices, commercial, and residential spaces. The egg-shaped pods provide a stark contrast to the city's surrounding neoclassical buildings, essentially delivering exactly what Hidalgo envisioned: Paris, the metropolis of the future. The project spans 41,882 square-feet, and the pods' suggest a breath of fresh air, resembling nature's microorganisms, and revitalizing the city's artificial structures in the 21st century.