Thang Long - Hanoi

French Quarter in Hanoi to be preserved
18/11/2010 | 18:08:20
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The Hanoi Department of Architectural Planning will soon submit a draft regulation on managing the French Quarter in Hanoi to the municipal People’s Committee.

The draft, built with the assistance of the Urban Workshop Institute (Institut des Metiers de la Ville – IMV) in the Ile de France region, aims to preserve and promote the values of the French Quarter.

In addition to proposing regulations on managing and setting up a “virtual” model for the whole quarter and a 1/500 miniature model for French streets in the south of Hoan Kiem Lake, the draft also puts forward measures to ensure the effective management, conservation and development of the works.

It also mentions strict regulations as well as options for works to be built to ensure that new buildings will not adversely affect the general character of the quarter.

The draft suggests the ranking of over 400 French villas according to three levels: special heritage that needs to be protected, noteworthy heritage that should be protected and heritage of moderate importance.

At a seminar held in Hanoi on November 13, French and Vietnamese researchers spoke highly of the values of the French Quarter in historical, urban and architectural aspects.

The urban value of the French quarter is reflected in the quality of the community space with a chessboard-styled traffic network, grand boulevards with green trees on two sides and wide crossroads. Meanwhile, its architectural value is the harmonious combination between Vietnamese and French architectural styles.

According to studies, the French Quarter includes three areas stretching from Hoan Kiem Lake to Thien Quang Lake. The area lying east of Hoan Kiem Lake, or the administrative centre, comprises many works with special values while the area located west of Hoan Kiem Lake features the Hanoi Opera House. The third area includes quiet villas next to Thien Quang Lake.

The French Quarter was build by French colonists in the late 19 th century, creating an image of Paris in Hanoi. At present, with the notable exceptions of the Opera House, the Building of the Governor of Tonkin (now the Government Guesthouse), and Metropole Hotel, many villas in the French Quarter have degraded seriously./.
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