2024 Paris Summit Day: La Fabrique du Metro, VINCI and Saint-Gobain’s Winter Garden

The 2024 Paris Summit kicked off today with a string of exciting events, starting with a trip to La Fabrique du Metro, followed by a special visit to VINCI’s headquarters, called L’Archipel, and finally a presentation and reception at the Winter Garden in Saint-Gobain tower. 

We’ve put together a few photos to give readers a glimpse into how it’s been so far.

La Fabrique du Metro

La Fabrique du Metro is a museum of sorts that shines a spotlight on the innovations behind the Grand Paris Express, an ambitious construction project that will see a number of new train lines built onto the city’s mass transit system, as well as a number of existing lines expanded. This is particularly impressive, as 90% of the new rail line built is planned to be underground.

In a tour organized by VINCI, one of the major contractors building the Grand Paris Express, our group was led through a series of illustrative and interactive exhibits that showed not only how the new lines and line extensions are being built—from how and with what the tunnels are being bored to how the removed earth will be used after the fact—but also what the upgraded trains (which will move at roughly double the speed of the fastest existing trains currently in use in Paris) and new stations will look and feel like.

la frabrique du metro site visit paris summit

la frabrique du metro site visit paris summit line explaination

la frabrique du metro site visit paris summit technology explanation

la frabrique du metro site visit paris summit train car example

la frabrique du metro site visit paris summit geological explanation


VINCI’s headquarters, nicknamed L’Archipel (i.e., The Archipelago) for its multiple interconnected structures, is widely celebrated for its creative design and exceptional sustainability. In a private tour, attendees were given a glimpse into the innovations that make the building so unique. 

For starters, the 75,000-square-meter structure was built atop a train station, a decision made to ease the commute of its 4,000 employees. The structure’s base, a series of v-shaped pillars, was specially engineered to account for the significant vibrations resulting from the trains below. 

In regard to the building’s impressive sustainability—which has garnered numerous awards and certifications—our VINCI guides specifically pointed out the building’s reliance on geothermal energy, use of urban recycling in its site selection and its use of slag, an efficient alternative to concrete. 

VINCI site tour stair case

VINCI tour presentation paris summit

vinci site tour paris summit attendees

VINCI site tour attendees happy hour

Reception at Saint-Gobain

One of the oldest construction materials manufacturer in the world, Saint-Gobain, founded in 1665 in Paris, has long been a leader in innovation in the built environment. At a special reception put on by the company, Paris Summit attendees were treated to beautiful, sweeping views of Paris, a brief lesson on the company’s storied history and a presentation from BuiltWorlds founder and CEO Matthew Gray, celebrating our 10-year anniversary.