Paris, Opéra-Lafayette Hotel

This is the Montholon district of Paris, believed to be one of the densest neighborhoods in old Paris. According to Vincent Foucier, the "net human density" in Montholon is 753 persons per hectare, nearly 50% higher than what is proposed in the Reference Design for carfree cities. (Net human density is the number of residents and employees living and working on one hectare.)

Here, we're quite a ways from four stories. Even the most conservative accounting credits this building with six stories, and the roof floor appears to be nearly the same area as the others, making this really a seven-story building. Except for the ground floor, the ceilings are not high, which helps to keep the scale of this building just within reason. With this building, I think we have reached the limit of what is acceptable for ordinary city buildings.

This building is still there today. The only apparent change is the addition of a glass-roofed terrace on the left side. I suspect that the hotel has taken over the ground floor, which was used for stores when this photograph was made.


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Text ©2001-2002 J.Crawford