The Poissonniers sports center gets a makeover for the Olympic Games

Updated on 27/05/2024
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Children enter the Poissonniers sports center
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Thermal insulation, enhanced accessibility, refurbished changing rooms and sanitary facilities, the centre sportif Poissonniers' two sports halls have been completely renovated for the Paris 2024 Games. A positive legacy for all of the capital's athletes. Find out more here!
Tens of schoolchildren flocked to the reception desk at the Poissonniers sports center (18th arrondissement) on May 15th for an inter-school competition. Excitement was etched on their faces as they discovered the two newly renovated sports halls of the Poissonniers Sports Center. Like four other sites in the capital, it has been completely renovated for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. "It's my first time here", says Iris, a schoolgirl from the 18th arrondissement who is getting ready to play badminton in the gym on the lower level of the building, "It's very bright!"
"It's brand new and more welcoming," says Stéphanie, a sports coordinator at Sainte-Isaure elementary school (18th arrondissement), "I've been going to the sports center for twenty years so I'm happy with the changes".
"It's a direct legacy of the Games for the residents of the 18th arrondissement," enthuses Olivier Merle des Isles, head of the operational division of the equipment department of the City of Paris' Youth and Sports Department. "It was a large 21-metre-high concrete building with dilapidated installations and asbestos, which we've completely renovated."
"The Games act as an [renovation] accelerator," explains Ève Brunelle, equipment project manager at the Délégation générale aux Jeux olympiques et aux grands événements de la Ville. "In two years, we've completed work that would have taken ten or fifteen years without the Games".
The original architecture of the building, constructed in 1969, has generally been maintained. "The choice was made to renovate what was already in place such as its concrete walls to which a natural-tone coating was applied," explains Olivier Merle des Isles.

Energy efficiency and comfort for athletes

These major renovations will improve comfort for sports enthusiasts, and save energy in the process. The walls, for example, were in a very poor state of repair. New thermal insulation was installed and one of the walls was moved to avoid heat loss into the new structure. Interior insulation of the two gymnasiums and comprehensive renovation of the boiler room and ventilation systems will also enhance user comfort, while reducing energy bills.
Changing rooms, corridors, sanitary facilities were all renovated. This refurbishment has enabled the improvement of all of the facilities used by the many sports enthusiasts who frequent Poissonniers (clubs, schools, general public, etc.).
Another addition is vegetation surrounding the building. Plants have been embedded along the entrance facade with plants including roses, jasmine and honeysuckle. This work was carried out by the Halage association, which employs people on social reintegration schemes.

Priority to re-use

Renovation of the Poissonniers sports center (18th district)
Reusing material was a priority in this building's renovation process. Profilit, which was used in the original construction, was reused for the building's facades. "The old walls were dismantled and reconditioned, some were reused for the cladding on the new facade, and the others were donated", explain Claude Vergnot-Kriegel and Julien Losset, architects and project managers for this renovation project from Scoping. Some Profilit panels, for example, were inlaid into the sports center's reception area.
Many items that could have been thrown away were given a new life in the new building after being cleaned and refurbished: cast-iron radiators, sanitary fittings, benches for the changing rooms… Not forgetting the recycling of site waste: 90% of it (plastic, wood, rubble, etc.) was reused.
Sparrows will nest on its exterior!
In terms of vegetation, climbing plants have been planted along the facades. Biodiversity is also likely to be a feature of the new building: a number of sparrow nesting sites have been created on one of the building's facades!

Enhanced accessibility

Another highlight of the renovation is its improvement to accessibility. The main new feature is visible along the façade of the sports venue entrance. An elevator provides access to all of the center's floors. The new building also benefits from universal accessibility standards, including signage adapted for disabled people and a soothing room with adapted acoustics, for people suffering from autistic disorders.
A regular visitor to the area, Joël, 28, hopes that "the Games will be an opportunity to showcase the 18th arrondissement", where several training sites and the Arena Porte de la Chapelle have been built. What about the Paris Games? "It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It adds value to this area of Paris.
Training grounds are ready
Piscine Georges-Vallerey (20th), Centre sportif Max-Rousié (17th), Centre sportif Bertrand-Dauvin (18th) and Stade Pierre-de-Coubertin (16th): these four other sites in the capital have been renovated to host training sessions during the Paris 2024 Games. These large-scale renovations will benefit all sports enthusiasts in the capital. Find out more here!

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