AIA Europe

Paris | The anticipated urban thaw

23-26 October 2014

International Conference and Chapter Meeting


Join us in Paris.

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of AIA Continental Europe and take a closer look at a city you think you know, perhaps soon to see the most important urban & architectural renewal program since the 1970s.

Proposed changes, a response to the challenges posed by a growing suburban population (1 in 6 French lives in greater Paris), will affect the very understanding of existing city limits and potentially modify the urban landscape by authorizing greater building heights in specific neighborhoods. The latter, if implemented, will see proposals designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Jean Nouvel among the first built.

Both of these changes need to happen within the context of a city that, for many, defines the very notion of a historic landmark. Current projects will offer us a glimpse on how contemporary architecture finds its place in a centuries-old urban and architectural fabric.

Site visits will include the Fondation Louis Vuitton by Frank Gehry, the Departement des Arts de l’Islam by Rudy Ricciotti, and the new Halles shopping center by Patrick Berger — each offering a distinct context. Paris will elect a new mayor in 2014. For a capital city seeking international visibility (after losing the Olympic bid to London) and where vacant lots are scarce, all eyes are turned on urban policies and architecture.

—The Paris 2014 Conference Committee

A printable flyer (200mm x 200mm), front and back, is available for download.


The following is a draft program subject to change.

Thursday, 23 October  
Saint James Albany 17:00 Registration opens  
18:00 Opening reception  
20:00 Dinner on your own  
Friday, 24 October  
Saint James Albany 8:00 Registration continues with coffee  
8:30 Welcoming remarks  
8:45 Presentation: Paris urbanism with Guy Amsellem, président de la Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine   1
9:45 Coffee break  
10:00 Presentation: AIA Europe sponsor B&W Group with Roberto Gamba et al.  
10:30 Presentation: Les Halles — The historical context, master plan, underground complex, and gardens will be presented by Jean-Marc Fritz, Architecte DPLG and principal of SEURA architectes et urbanistes. The Canopée will be presented by Patrick Berger, Architecte DPLG and principal of Patrick Berger et Jacques Anziutti, architectes.   1.25
11:45 Presentation: Islamic gallery at the Louvre with Mario Bellini, Architect   1
12:45 Lunch  
Central Paris 13:45 Building visits: Islamic gallery at the Louvre, Les Halles, and another site to be announced   3
Transit 18:30 Transit  
Palais de Chaillot 19:30 Reception: Hosted by AIA Europe sponsor Laufen, we will spend the evening at Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine in the Palais de Chaillot. This catered event will include visits to the galleries. (Gallery visits end at 22:00).   1
Saturday, 25 October  
Saint James Albany 8:00 Registration continues for weekend attendees  
8:45 Opening remarks  
9:00 Presentation: KPF Associates on La Defense   1
10:00 Presentation: Robert A.M Stern Architects on La Defense   1
11:00 Coffee break  
11:30 Presentation: James Cowey AIA, DESA of Studios Architecture (Architect of Record) and Matt King, Associate Director and Engineer at TESS talk about the Fondation Louis Vuitton by Gehry Partners.   1.5
13:00 Presentation: Fondation Louis Vuitton by Gehry Partners with AIA Europe sponsor Sipral, a supplier for the project   .5
13:30 Lunch  
Transit 14:00 Transit to the Jardin d'Acclimatation  
Fondation Louis Vuitton 14:30 Building tour: Review of the exterior of the Fondation Loius Vuitton. (Attendees are encouraged to find time to enter the building before or after the conference. The building will be just opening at the time of the conference and we don't expect to be able to access the facility as a group.)   1
Transit 15:30 Transit to La Defense  
La Defense 16:00 Building tour: Visit the Carpe Diem Tower by Robert A.M. Stern Architects with walking tour of La Defense (with guides tbd).   2
18:00 Time on your own (including transit from La Defense to center of Paris)  
Cercle de l'Union Interalliée 19:30 Reception and gala dinner at the Cercle de l'Union Interalliée on the terrace and in the Salle Marc de Beaumont (For men, a jacket and tie are required at this venue.)  
Sunday, 26 October 2013  
Conseil Régional de l'Ordre des Architectes 9:00 Chapter meeting  
10:30 Coffee  
11:00 Panel discussion or presentation   1
12:00 Light lunch  
Tbd 13:30 Afternoon tours (tbd)   2
End of conference  
AIA CES learning units (full conference registration)   16.75
AIA CES learning units (weekend conference registration)   9.5
Monday, 27 October 2013  
Optional tours beyond Paris will be suggested/organized for Monday. Options may include Louvre Lens by SANAA, Pompidou Metz by Shigeru Ban Architects, FRAC Orléans by Jakob + MacFarlane, Maison Louis Carrée by Alvar Aalto   tbd



The conference hotel is the Saint James Albany on the rue de Rivoli, métro Tuileries. Friday and Saturday programs start at this location and all venues are easily accessible from here by public transit or on foot.

A block of rooms is being held until 23 30 August 12 September 2014. The rate for a Standard double, with breakfast buffet is 242,00 €, tax included. Use the "couponing" (or IATA) code "AIA" during booking. (If you have not entered a date between 20-26 October, you will see a prompt to "Search for available dates". Click on this and you will be able to select the appropriate dates in October.) Booking with the code allows for a "Free cancellation 30 days prior to arrival."

As a premiere tourist and conference destination, Paris has no shortage of hotels at all price points. Attendees are encouraged to use their usual sources should the Saint James Albany not fit their taste or requirements.


Public transit is provided by the RATP. Single ride tickets are available as are a number of options for multiple ride passes. The best value is likely to be the purchase of a "carnet" of single ride tickets. Single ride tickets are good for transfers from one bus to another within 90 minutes of validation.

Tickets must be validated and riders must keep their ticket until they exit the station. Some stations require a ticket to exit the station.

Transit from the airport is avialable by commuter rail (the RER) and by bus. Most international flights arrive at CDG (known locally as "Roissy"). Cab fare will vary depending on traffic. Taxis are available from an official taxi queue; unofficial drivers will often approach upon exiting the terminal — not recommended.

Pickpocketing has been on the rise, even at the terminus of the Roissybus at the Opéra Garnier.

While the RATP has their own app for smart phones, attendees might consider the excellent Citymapper app, available on the AppStore and Google play.

Uber also serves Paris but note that the Parisian taxis are of high quality and are allowed to navigate within the bulk of the dedicated bus lanes, avoiding traffic jams under the right circumstances.


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The language of the conference is english.

Registration will open in August 2014.

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