Market-in-Training: Proposal Would Transform Paris’ Abandoned Railroad

City Terrain, International
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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Parisian market archpaper 1

(Courtesy Amílcar Ferreira & Marcelo Fernandes)

Paris is known in part for its numerous quaint outdoor markets offering foodstuffs and vintage objects. It is also home to an—if not quaint, at least fairly aged—abandoned railway system, the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture. Two enterprising architects have now proposed combining the idea behind the former retail markets and the infrastructure of the latter to create a traveling market that would circle the city center.

Parisian market archpaper 3

(Courtesy Amílcar Ferreira & Marcelo Fernandes)

Despite their surface appeal, Paris’ street markets leave problematic amounts of trash in their wake and are prone to impeding the prevalent bicycle traffic within the city. Amílcar Ferreira and Marcelo Fernandes saw the long-abandoned railroad as a perfect solution to address these issues.

The two propose reviving the tracks, last in operation in 1934, and using them as a platform for a train re-purposed as a site for commerce and bartering, with various cars providing storefronts, workshops, and utility services for local vendors. The train would also offer rides to visitors as it itinerates between various locations within Paris’s fortified walls.

The proposal was conceived as a submission to the 2013 M.ART opengap competition.

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