Bouygues builds Paris 2024 arena portfolio

French industrial group Bouygues has landed its second major contract in the space of a month for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the City of Paris announcing that it will lead a consortium that will develop Arena Porte de la Chapelle.

Bouygues Bâtiment Île-de-France will head up the design, construction and technical operation of the venue otherwise known as Arena 2, alongside architectural companies SCAU and NP2F.

The contract has been awarded by the City of Paris, which stated the selected project was ranked in first position because of its architectural, landscape, functional and environmental qualities as well as its commitments in terms of energy efficiency and the quality of its maintenance program, with the arena designed to have an initial operating life of over 10 years.

For Paris 2024, the 8,000-seat arena will host badminton, para badminton and para taekwondo events. Following the Games, it will be the new home of Paris Basketball, which is currently playing in the second tier of the domestic game but has ambitious growth plans.

Along with Paris Basketball games, the arena is designed to host sports competitions, concerts and conferences. It will be located in the rapidly developing district of Porte de la Chapelle, with its design highlighted by huge glass walls, wooden structures and a large green terrace spanning 1,700 square metres.

The arena is estimated to cost €98m (£88.5m/$109.1m), €8m more than was initially projected in Paris 2024’s bid documents. It will be financed equally by Solideo, the entity which is managing infrastructure development for the Games, and the City. The latter will contribute a further €20m to finance the construction of two gyms and a mixed-use development.

“It is the realisation of this crazy dream of having an arena of intermediate size, between the AccorHotels Arena and the Stade Coubertin, which is sorely lacking in Paris for indoor sports and events,” Jean-François Martins, assistant in charge of sports for the City of Paris, told Le Parisien.

“This will give a new image and identity to Porte de la Chapelle. The arena will bring together and soften the link from an urban point of view between Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis. It’s a real positive prospect.”

Construction work is scheduled to commence in June 2021 ahead of completion in July 2023. Earlier this month, Bouygues landed the contract to develop the Olympic Aquatics Centre (CAO), one of only two new permanent venues for Paris 2024.

The CAO, which will be located opposite the Stade de France, is lined up to host artistic swimming, diving and water polo events at Paris 2024, with Arena 2 at Porte de la Chapelle set to be the only other new permanent venue developed for the Games.

Images: SCAU/NP2F