La Villette Park

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The place

One of the largest parks in Paris, it was designed by Bernard Tschumi, a French architect of Swiss origin, who built it from 1984 to 1987 on the site of the huge Parisian abattoirs (slaughterhouses) and the national wholesale meat market, as part of an urban redevelopment project.

The park houses one of the largest concentration of cultural venues in the city, several of them having been designed by noted contemporary architects, including Christian de Portzamparc or Jean Nouvel.

These include the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie (City of Science and Industry), the largest science museum in Europe ; the Géode, an IMAX theatre inside of a 36 metres (118 ft) diameter geodesic dome ; the Cité de la musique (City of Music), a museum of historical musical instruments with a concert hall, also home of the Conservatoire de Paris ; or the Zénith, a 6,300 seats concert arena.

Dividing the park is the Canal de l'Ourcq, which has boat tours that transport visitors around the park and to other sites in Paris. While some of the gardens are minimalist in design, others are clearly constructed with children in mind. Festivals (such as an annual open-air film festival) are common in the park along with artist conventions and shows by performers.

A contemporary melting pot of cultural expression, the Parc de la Villette also features thirty-five architectural follies (a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs)

Source : Wikipedia contributors, "Parc de la Villette"

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