Air des Carrières
A refreshing bench sets up for the summer in Paris
As summer approaches and with it the risk of a heatwave, city dwellers will be able to enjoy the coolness of a bench installed in the 13th arrondissement of Paris and ventilated by the air from underground quarries. Since the beginning of June, an urban cooling system for the general public has been installed on the Place Jeanne d'Arc, along the west wing of the Notre-Dame-de-La-Gare church, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.
Above 25 degrees, a ventilation system is automatically activated
The device, called Air des Carrières, was designed and developed by designers Emma Lelong and Rémi Nguyen and urban architects Frédéric Blaise, Guillaume Duranel and Julia Lenoir. It operates on the geothermal principle of a "puits provençal" which exploits the natural coolness of the air contained in the quarries twenty-five metres below the city. When the outside temperature rises above 25 degrees, a ventilation system placed in the access shaft to the quarries is automatically activated. The bench then diffuses fresh air naturally stored underground where its temperature is maintained at around twelve degrees due to the thermal inertia of the earth. Once drawn up to the surface, the air escapes through the gaps between the seating modules, creating a fresh air bubble around the bench.
A project tailor-made for Paris
The bench is made up of modules in Pouillenay Rosé, a marble stone used in the construction of Parisian buildings. The thermal inertia of the stone allows for a slow and even diffused coolness, while its effusiveness gives it a cool touch, whatever the outside temperature. Air des Carrières is one of the twelve winning projects of the 2018 edition of FAIRE Design Urbain, a call for innovative projects launched annually by the Pavillon de l'Arsenal and the City of Paris. For its development, it benefited from the support of Mini and the Caisse des Dépôts, as well as the partnership of Inspection Générale des Carrières and the companies Climespace and Élioth, which worked to bring this first prototype to life in the urban space.
An experiment on an urban scale
The project is an experimental device for combating urban heat islands, the summer phenomena of localised temperature rises in urban areas that cause heat that is difficult to bear. As part of the long-term structural policies that the City of Paris is putting in place to combat the effects of global warming, the Air des Carrières project contributes in the short term to improving thermal comfort while ensuring that the public are better received in the city. To measure the effectiveness of the system in terms of cooling and comfort for the public, the design team has set up a protocol to evaluate the use of the bench in the urban space, which will be installed until the 15th of September.
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