The premises attached to La Villette, slightly away from the park, called "Halle aux cuirs" was originally used for the processing and storage of skins comimg from La Villette slaughterhouses. Indeed, a large part of the commercial and industrial activities of the area was linked to the slaughterhouses. It was the technical premises of Parc de La Villette and after a place for creation and artist residence, the destiny of Halle aux cuirs is still undergoing changes.
Halle aux cuirs was built in the early 1960s close to the slaughterhouses at La Villette for the transformation of the skin from the animals slaughtered here into leather and for storage. With the construction of the ring road which began in 1966, it was cut off from the slaughterhouses. In 1974, the slaughterhouses were shut down for good. In 1977, Annie Fratellini set up a circus school near the hall, between boulevard Sérurier and the ring road.
Parc de La Villette opened in 1987, designed by the architect Bernard Tschumi. The Halle, which belongs to the French state, is managed by the Public Establishment of the Parc and Grande Halle of La Villette (EPPGHV). It was then used as technical premises for the park and, in particular for storing equipment used for the cultural activities of Grande Halle of La Villette or Cité de la Musique. La Halle already houses artists in residence and office activities.
The Fratellini circus school moved to Saint Denis in 2002. The big Top and the buildings were converted into a pole of support for contemporary artistic creation (circus, puppets, and street arts). The co-owners, Mairie de Paris - Town Hall and La Villette set up the project "Espace Périphérique" to accompany young artists in their line of artistic creation and future professional life.
La Halle specializes in welcoming dance companies through the program IADU (Initiatives d’Artistes en Danses Urbaines) created in 1998. A unique French programme to accompany the creation of hip hop dance, it offers two rehearsal studios to companies.
The Halle aux Cuirs is composed of two rooms, one small and one big, including a dance floor, grill, bleachers, lodges and kitchen and office space.
Each year, about twenty companies test their choreography to be then shown to the public, sometimes out of their residence. These residences allow young artists to become professional benefitting from technical and administrative support.
Continuing in the line of artists in residence, La Villette wants to continue to make this place a venue for artistic creation but also a lively hub of Greater Paris. La halle is located on the border of Pantin and Paris strategically located close to Canal de l'Ourcq. It is served by the tramway line T3b and stops at Ella Fitzgerald – Grands Moulins de Pantin is located just in front.