Local Heart, Global Soul

April 12, 2014

Not Water From Wine, But Renewal From Wine Warehouses…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Big cities all over the world are regularly faced with the dilemma of how to upgrade  former industrial areas.

In European cities that have grown substantially over the centuries, industries that were once on the outskirts of the city  now find themselves in prime residential and commercial  areas as the city and it’s population expands.

Inevitably the encroachment means that land prices rise and industrial use is not longer as profitable, transportation of industrial sized goods become difficult in now more densely populated areas and the industries start searching for cheaper land out of town where transport is easier and land prices are cheaper.

This eventually leaves old historical inner city areas run down or derelict and local councils have to decide between demolition or incorporating the old buildings into the regeneration project.

In the Bercy Village area in Paris, France there were long rows of wine warehouses that presented just such a problem  but luckily the solution found was to turn this into an artisan shopping area. The renovated warehouses now house cafés, restaurants and a large variety of shops, I will admit that it is rather touristy, but listening to the languages spoken as I walked past the outside tables of the eateries, it seems to be a popular place with locals too.

I like that some of the original features such as the railway line in the street have been kept, even if they have been filled in and are just symbolic.

The metro station is close by so I passed this every day at various times of day but took the photographs early on a Sunday morning when things were quiet and I could walk and take photos without the jostle and bustle of the crowds. I did try and take photos at other times but it was so busy the views were obscured.

On the Saturday I shopped there buying a long rainbow coloured ribbon on a stick (like the ones rhythmic gymnasts use)  for Kiwi Daughter to play with in the park and a wind-up torch for LittleMr. who was busy at home trying to waste as many batteries as possible with his obsession with torches at the time. Himself  scored some handmade chocolates and a bottle of the very alcoholic type.

The metro station is on the other side of the wine warehouses but instead of getting the business park and office worker commuters to walk around the long row of warehouses, one of the warehouse buildings was left empty, exits made in the back and is now a covered passageway that short-cuts though the line of buildings without changing the style, line or character of the buildings very much at all. It’s the kind of sympathetic solution to solve a practical problem whilst still keeping the history that I love. Ingenious!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

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