This Abandoned Medical Centre in Paris Has Been Transformed Into A Innovative Community For Those In Need

Once the patients beds are empty and the doctors gone, a hospital is just a shell, it is only the people inside the structure who helped. And now, a different group of people have taken on a different welfare responsibility at the abandoned Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Hospital.

The site, now called Les Grands Voisins, is situated between Port Royal and Denfert-Rochereau in the 14th district of Paris and is now run by three associations: Aurora Association, Urban Plateau Association and Yes We Camp Association.


The site is now a hub of innovation and beauty in the most unexpected places and has been so successful in providing shelter, support and safety for people in the community that there is work starting on a new site – with the creation of 600 housing units – in a more central neighbourhood of Paris.


The expansive site with it’s variety of buildings and art door space has grown organically – attracted artists who fill the walls with colour – and other organisations who help the world in some way: from agricultural solutions to spacial design. The old hospital is now home to over a thousand people who live and work in the spaces on a permanent basis, while tents create campsites for those looking for temporary solutions.


Poetic in its public mission, the team have created a space which is not only functional but enthralling. It is thought provoking, lively and beautiful it in it’s own way – a little world within a world – it recycles old ideas and forges new ones. There is nothing quite like it.