La Friche Richard-Lenoir


Temporary urban activation of a  3000m2 urban wasteland 


66 boulevard Richard-Lenoir (Paris 11th)




Co-produced by Earnest, Doppler, Surprize

Design Team

Collectif Triple D (fittings), Lenka (conversion of shipping containers)


2,883 m2


Urban programming, production, cultural animation 



This pop-up project transformed the site of an old Mercedes dealership throughout the months of September and October 2016, offering free entry every day. With the church of Saint-Ambroise providing a spectacular backdrop, La Friche Richard-Lenoir announced itself by way of a concept somewhere between street food court and temporary beer garden, designed hand-in-hand with locally-based social and cultural associations. 

EARNEST signed a contract of temporary occupation with the City of Paris, thus providing the local public authority with a concrete solution to the financial burden of this disused site. The consultancy surrounded itself with the know-how of events teams, notably its partners Surprize and Doppler, to fully exploit the potential of this wasteland. In rejuvenating this open space in the 11th arrondissement, EARNEST has taken inspiration from numerous experiences abroad to propose an innovative way of tackling urban blight. La Friche Richard-Lenoir allows local residents to reclaim what had become an eyesore, abandoned for years, while waiting for the completion of a future public garden in 2017.  

The project served as a place of full-scale experimentation for future landscaped set-ups, notably the educational vegetable patch which will be part of its legacy.

In a decor created specifically for the project and mixing recycled materials, reclaimed furniture and an urban garden, the project’s design encouraged meetings and exchanges: two bars installed in converted shipping containers, a selection of street food stands, a pétanque and Mölkky strip, a ping pong table, a 'free-expression' wall, a stage (hosting live music and stand-up acts), games for children, a vegetable patch and cabins for use by associations, artisans or vendors wishing to present their activities. 

© Catalina Sourvasquez

© Jérôme Bourgeois