Although some critics say Bercy Village is a “faux French village in the heart of Paris”, it is a lively shopping and leisure centre. It is located in the 19th-century buildings previously occupied by wine warehouses and includes over 30 stores and restaurants.
The former wine warehouses were transformed as a part of urban renewal project that had its origin in 1990, when the city of Paris held an architectural competition for the redevelopment project. The winning company, Valode & Pistre, compiled a plan that consisted of the restored warehouses and modern, taller buildings behind. Instead of transforming the old cobblestoned lanes into a covered shopping centre, as its rivals planned to do, Valode & Pistre came up with an idea of leaving the streets open with a network of awnings to protect visitors from the weather.