Kiosque, Mediakiosk, City of Paris
The prototype kiosque designed by matali crasset for Mediakiosk, selected after a competitive call for tenders by the City of Paris, begun in 2014, is installed for three months at Place Victor & Hélène Basch in Paris.
It is a purified design of Parisian identity. The kiosque is inspired by Parisian workshops and roofs, with a sketch pen. It is characterised by its bulging roof, its glass façades, framed by corner posts.
“The kiosque is one of the supports of our neighbourhood life. It is one of the rare merchant spaces to remain on a human scale. This is why the workshop is a reference that gives meaning to the kiosque.
A workshop is a place where we are active and close by. A workshop in Paris is a small unit that slips into the urban interstices to do a job that is more than anything else local, a matter of proximity.
It is characterized by its bulging roof, its glass facades, and framed by corner posts.
We recognize these workshops in the web of the city because they create a break that seems to say "Here, we love life, light, the passing seasons….”
The attentive passer-by sees what is happening…. We don’t live in hiding here, we are connected directly with life, and with the life of the neighborhood too.
A savvy dose of the sufficiently open with the protected, to feel good, somewhat protected, almost as if we could take the best of the city – its energy to feed its own forward march.
A workshop: When we are inside, we see what is happening in the street, we feed off its dynamic. In a way, we can be proud to show what we do with our day, a transparency on the occupation we have chosen, on the daily movements that define it… a visual porosity that expresses a desire to share.
The kiosque proposed as a workshop concentrates its openings in a direction: that of light for the workshop, that of strolling for the kiosque. It lets the traffic wash over and points out the friendliness of soft mobility.
The kiosque façade peeks out on the day. The doors form two arms to protect, extend the activity while being transparent.
The façade window leaves are sequenced according to the special vertical rhythms of workshops, and this rhythm can even be emphasised by adding a central vertical for each leaf.
A workshop kiosque that proposes various scenarios.
Various typologies can go well beyond the colour breakdown. They represent various qualifications.
These breakdowns makes sense at the artistic, programming, social and ecological levels too.
Around a federative identity, the kiosque can bring change to everyday practices more effectively by clearly showing what the challenges are:
Integration in the city is based on digestion of technology. The idea driving the project is not to claim the automatic aspect, the machine that everyone knows, but to place a harmonious volume in the streets of Paris, like a grove of trees or bushes that would offer vegetal relief.
Vegetal patterns and analogies to nature are an integral part of the Parisian urban identity, the most representative elements of which are the metro entrances of Hector Guimard.
The vegetal vibrations are framed at the bottom by the base that gives a seating and a top, by the facade of rounded forms that cap the volume with softness and discretion.
It is not a form that imposes itself. There are no sharp corners that strike the eye, and its typology built with simple volumes allows immediate reading.
The subtlety resides in this vegetal vibration that coats the volume all around. The concrete, which remains the appropriate material considering its durability, then gains a contemporary appearance.
The tree structure that escapes from its surface with an upward thrust simulates the strength and incessantly renewed energy of nature. This firm vegetal stance makes it possible for the sanitary to cohabit with the fountain and gives legitimacy to the arguments for recovery of rainwater and consumption of Paris city water.
The signalling and the other supports (plane, interface for the opening) are attached either to the base or to the facade so as not to interfere with the vegetal rhythm.
Inside, a sky-dome allows the interior to breath, punctuated by the same rhythm.
Three colours are currently being studied: green, grey and red. The final choice of implantation will be decided after consultation with the city halls responsible for each arrondissement.
A lighting system on the corner posts indicate if the kiosque is open or not.
The new kiosques will be heated, better insulated and protected from bad weather. They will have a computerised cash register and stowage spaces for personal effects and optimised opening and closing systems with an appropriate curtain. Also, 235 kiosques may be equipped with toilets at the kiosque operator’s request.
The new kiosque will be aerated and modern, both more comfortable for exercising the kiosque operator’s work, and more attractive for all their customers. They will also be totally accessible to the handicapped.
These new kiosques will also meet the Paris municipality’s sustainable development requirements. Eco-designed with 100% recyclable materials, they will be supplied with electricity from renewable sources and will meet the requirements of Origin France and ISO 14001 certifications. Their energy performance will be enhanced 54% by 100% LED lighting.
The operators’ improved working conditions will include a training plan that will be proposed to all operators. This apprenticeship will concern the sale of press items, management and accounting, computer science, welcoming of tourists and foreign languages.
New services for users
These new kiosques are designed to improve the users’ welcome, who can now enter the heart of this space and get better visibility on the press offer presented there.
The project also plans to attract new customers, by instituting innovative services. Kiosque activities will be diversified and appropriate to their position, to offer new proximity services.
Access to the ZEENS application, which will give the possibility of consulting a selection of newspapers and magazines, to geo-localise the desired copy nearest by, to order it and have it delivered to the kiosque;
Installation of an interior service screen in 100 kiosques allows access to various digital services, including interactive mapping of the neighbourhood;
Installation of interactive 32" outdoor digital screens at 100 kiosques accessible 24/7, with an interactive plan of the neighbourhood and information about neighbourhood life;
Letter boxes will be installed at 100 kiosques in partnership with La Poste. In addition to the additional flow of users for the kiosque operator, today’s sidewalk letter boxes will be suppressed, clearing more public space.
The City of Paris is especially attached to the press as a vector of free expression and public debate, and thereby democracy. It is one of the rare cities in France where the number of kiosques has grown over the last ten years.
There is a grid of 409 kiosques spread out over the whole Paris territory, offering all Parisians and visitors the possibility of finding a press item and proximity service near their work, their home or any other living place.
- Philippe Piron