And to say they were making weapons here in the days of Louis XV. Two centuries and few good ideas later, the Manufacture Royale has regenerated as the Cité du Design. Horizontal, transparent and filled with light, La Platine certainly gets itself noticed: you can’t deny that. This unusual box-like structure houses an agora, exhibition rooms, a media library, a restaurant, an auditorium, a series of exhibition rooms and even a materials library. You can’t imagine how many uses there are for translucent marble… At Le Concept (it’s the restaurant’s name, get it?) you can have something to eat and sit and enjoy the soothing view of the vegetation in the glasshouse. All’s well with the world. Outside the Tour Observatoire can’t help but show off – mind you, those 31 metres are enough to make your head turn. No sign of a derelict industrial site now: the Manufacture quarter is now fairly buzzing with brainpower and hyperactivity.