Le Consulat

Reinventing the Seine Competition


A mixed-use and modular project featuring artist and artisan workshops, canteens, a co-working site, laboratories, events and wellness spaces, floating bridge


Halle de Rouvray (Paris 19th)




Ville de Paris

Team leader: Made by Bensemoun

Design team

Julien Beller (architect), MyFood (aquaponics), Gautier (photovoltaics)


492 m2


Coordination and writing of the initial offer, adaptation of the temporary version of the Consulate in central Paris to the Seine river’s context

Project status


The Reinventing the Seine competition sets out to explore new ways of living on and along the water between Paris and Le Havre. Initiated by the association GANG (Groupe Action Neo Green) and produced by NatureRights (association loi 1901), the Consulate is about a space for collaborative life, a network of initiatives and optimists who want to come together to 'think', 'act', 'dance', and 'meet': the four fundamentals of the programme. After a temporary first version in a listed building in the 9th arrondissement managed by its representative Lionel Bensemoun (the man behind cultural mainstays such as Le Nüba, Hôtel Amour, La Mano, Le Baron, Nanashi, La Fidélité, Le Fantôme, Villa Lena), The Consulate envisages its permanent address along the Rouvray canal, in the form of a festive, eco-friendly and community-based one-stop-shop , accessible by a floating bridge. 

The former woodwork and metal workshops constructed in 1936 are to be converted into a shared laboratory, a space for thinking, creation and broadcasting co-run by Liid (Raphaële Bidault-Waddington). The Consulate is unique in its signature approach to repurposing industrial sites into simple cultural set-ups, and aims to become a veritable laboratory of urban resilience. Its daily schedule of events is evolving in the guise of workshops, debates, conferences, co-working, projections, exhibitions, artistic events, performances or concerts. All formats are explored in order to tackle themes like the environment, social economy and togetherness, forms of governance, new technologies...

The architect Julien Beller proposes to host the multipurpose hall on the ground floor in a totally sound-and-heat-proofed wooden volume. Its materiality and the contemporary ethos of its proportions will represent a contrast with the existing architecture. The versatility of all spaces is a guarantee that the project will stand the test of time, and therefore of its environmental and collaborative credentials too. The outside courtyard will be the focus of a participatory construction project, to invent forms that can counter bad weather without making irreversible changes to the infrastructure.




© Julien Beller architecte