On 12 February 2016, Viparis and the architectural firm Wilmotte & Associés announced plans to create a hotel complex within the Porte de Versailles exhibition site. Mama Shelter will operate one of the two hotels starting in 2019.Less than a year ago, Viparis began a three-phase modernisation project at the Paris expo Porte de Versailles site, with €500 million in private investment. The completed site will include a 440-room hotel complex consisting of two structures, accessible via a new entrance on Avenue de la Porte de la Plaine.
For this large-scale initiative, Viparis has called on the renowned architectural firm Willmotte & Associés. The quality of its projects have earned it a number of international awards, including Best European Museum, given to Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum (2015), the International Architecture Award for the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice (2014) and the Pyramide d'Argent Ile-de-France for EPADESA's headquarters in Nanterre (2012). For the exhibition complex at Porte de Versailles, Willmotte & Associés has been asked to design two hotels in line with HQE and BREEAM certification standards.
In the words of Jean-Michel Wilmotte, architect, urban planner and designer, and the founder of Willmotte & Associés SA: "This is an expansive and exciting project, set in the heart of a 'permanent universal exposition'! It will send a strong signal, a symbol of the spirit and drive of the Porte de Versailles site."
The operator of the first hotel has already been revealed. Viparis has signed an agreement with Mama Shelter, which will operate the establishment, for a minimum period of 12 years, when it opens in 2019. Building on the success of Mama Shelter's hotel and restaurant complex in Paris's 20th arrondissement, which has won kudos for its urban yet intimate design that is a hit with both Parisians and international visitors, the new hotel is expected to be an exciting venue. The interiors will be the work of Thierry Gaugain, who designed Mama Shelter Los Angeles, and the complex will cater to Viparis's leisure and business customers. The hotel will feature 200 rooms, a ground-floor 485m2 restaurant seating 350, including 80 terrace seats, five private meeting areas totalling 500m2 and a rooftop bar serving light meals that offers panoramic views of Paris. Serge Trigano, co-founder of the Mama Shelter concept, stated, "The Mama Shelter family is pleased and proud to have a presence in western Paris on a completely renovated and beautifully designed site. The Mama Porte de Versailles will be a place for business, leisure and gatherings that will meet the needs of local residents, tourists, business travellers and attendees at trade fairs and conferences."
This project will help Viparis extend its current offer of services. "We would like to make our guests' stay more comfortable and open up the Porte de Versailles site – the capital's fourth most-visited venue – to the city of Paris. These two prestigious partnerships will help Paris expo Porte de Versailles become a dynamic, living venue frequented by Parisians and visitors alike. By working with Mama Shelter, we are bringing an up-to-date, contemporary touch to the Paris expo Porte de Versailles of tomorrow," emphasised Michel Dessolain, Director General of Viparis.
Work on the hotel complex, which is a key part of the Paris expo Porte de Versailles modernisation project, will begin in the second half of 2017, with completion slated for 2019.