"Holley’s dream has faced criticism since construction. The "vertical zoning" means parts of Olympiades are deserted at certain times. The mall closes at 9 p.m., and as restaurateurs lower metal over their storefronts, men gather in corners, emitting catcalls. Outside, wind whips between the towers. Evenings, the slab empties except for some men and dogs lingering at its edge, near the overgrown planters and vents that billow the smell of Chinese food.This is just the sort of scheme which was originally planned to ring Sefton Park, until that project faced public opposition and ran out of money. Ugly façades, amazing views.
"I’m sure that there is a set of quite good restaurants on the slab, but you need to be quite courageous to get there after 8," says Didier Bernateau, director of development at SCET, the urban engineering firm that leads the network of public and private companies that develop land in France. "There’s a feeling of unsafeness, and the stairs, and the coolness of the wind."
"It is the worst failure in the history of Paris’ urban projects," says Ahmad Kaddour, an artist who teaches silk-screening classes at an Olympiades workshop. "Olympiades is the death of God."
Architecture The Atlantic has a short history of the Olympiades, Michel Holley's Paris rezoning project that created epic modern structure but with little understanding of how they'd ultimately be utilised by the people:
Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013