Posts tagged with "France":

Aluminum complements wood in this office building’s woven skin

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Laval, a town in western France town historically known for the manufacturing of fine linens, has received a new 24,000-square-foot, three-story office building featuring unique ornate screening systems. Designed by Paris-based Périphériques on a small parcel of land, the project supports a growing culture of startup companies by bringing together multiple organizations with large shared collective spaces. The relatively straightforward massing of the building comprises a subtly shaped box defined by required setbacks and two subtractive cuts for daylight penetration, punctuated by a central wood-clad courtyard and roof terrace.
 
  • Facade Manufacturer WICONA
  • Architects Périphériques
  • Facade Installer ISORE; MIRO (construction)
  • Facade Consultants Egis Bâtiments Centre Ouest (technical engineer)
  • Location Laval, France
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System Reinforced concrete frame with timber and aluminum screens
  • Products Perforated metal corners, mirrored stainless steel siding by ISORE
The courtyard massing scheme sets up two primary facade responses: an external perforated aluminum screen and an internal, diagonally installed wood screen. The architects said the main goal for these two assemblies was to create different atmospheres, a device to mediate the surrounding landscape, and an intimate courtyard patio. “The perforated metal offers a way to observe the landscape from inside the office and creates a kinetic effect from the outside,” said Emmanuelle Marin, principal at Périphériques. The primary external facades are organized into approximately 18-inch modules defined by vertical floor-to-ceiling bands of glazing interspersed with insulated metal panels. Perforated bronze and silver–colored aluminum angles were set at contrasting angles to produce what the architects call a “kinetic screen.” This solar shading device is attached back to the primary facade slab edge. The spacing and overlap of the two layers of aluminum are responsive to solar orientation and internal program. The courtyard is lined with a timber sunscreen composed of four-inch thick horizontal members set at a slight inclination set along a 4-foot grid. A continuous pathway framed by the building envelope wraps the courtyard on the inside, and an interior glass wall buffers noise and filters daylight. HVAC and plumbing systems are organized along this pathway for efficient, centralized distribution.    Marin said one of the successes of the project is the softening of the urban environment, achieved by the courtyard massing and wood cladding. “The acoustics within the courtyard patios are very interesting, producing an effect that makes the outdoors feel more like an interior space.”  

A French museum creates romance with a flowing glass tile facade

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With an extensive archaeological collection spanning from the 7th century BC through the Middle Ages, the Musée de la Romanité, located in Nîmes, France (opening summer 2018), presents artifacts from the "romanization" of local society both before and after the city’s Roman occupation. The project, which has evolved into one of the largest contemporary architectural projects in France, is the result of an international competition dating back to 2011. Designed by Paris-based Elizabeth de Portzamparc, the resulting museum establishes a dialogue with an adjacent 2000-year-old amphitheater through a veil-like glass tile screen.
 
  • Facade Manufacturer Pilkington (glass); Emmanuel BARROI (screen-printing); Aurblanc (facade construction model)
  • Architects Elizabeth De Portzamparc
  • Facade Installer HEFI (ROSCHMANN Group)
  • Facade Consultants BET; RFR (facade); Sarl André Verdier (structure)
  • Location Nîmes, France
  • Date of Completion 2018
  • System structural glass over steel subframe
  • Products Pilkington Optiwhite
The building aims to produce this dialogue by being different instead of similar. Seen from above, the museum is organized in a square plan that contrasts with the amphitheater’s curvilinear form. The materiality of the adjacent Roman stone structure and what Elizabeth de Portzamparc’s office calls the “magnificence of vertical arches passed down to us through the centuries,” is answered with a decidedly light assembly of digitally-crafted steel and glass. The result is an undulating, textile-like drapery that seemingly floats over the archaeological context. The Musée de la Romanité’s facade is composed of over 7,000 structural glass units measuring approximately 5-feet-long by 8-inches-tall by less than three-eighths-of-an-inch thick. The glass “strips” were screen printed with 8-inch opaque white squares on their exterior face to maximize legibility and solar shading performance. Each strip was installed individually on site over a delicate framework composed of primary vertical members and secondary horizontal girts. This framework establishes specific undulations based on the curvature of the facade. The mechanical attachments were specially coated to blend in with adjacent finishes to produce an additional level of seamlessness. The lightness of the system is all the more impressive given the site’s location within a seismic zone that extends through parts of southern France. The unique assembly of glass strips, as opposed to a custom molded glass system or more traditional curtain wall, arose from a desire to achieve a visually thin structure and required the design team to manage the weight of the glass assembly. “We finally chose the strip system so as to obtain a background structure as light and less visible as possible, allowing an important economy of raw materials and construction costs in comparison to a molded glass facade, which requires very expensive and heavy bearing structures,” said de Portzamparc. “The result is very lively for its subtlety and its reflections that extend the colors of the surrounding buildings and the sky that changes every hour of the day.” The architects developed the project through a 1:100 scale study model that was based on two parametric aspects: geometry and graphic design. Several tests at full scale also occurred in parallel to the model to study the detailing of key attachment points. The team worked through iterations of translating a fluid digital surface into a contoured assembly of horizontal strips, working to manage gaps between the strips so as to achieve a continuity of the surface through smaller building modules.  

Dominique Perrault talks about “magic mountains” and political protests at Facades+

The Architect's Newspaper's Facades+  conference kicked off today in New York and wasted no time getting into the action. French architect Dominique Perrault opened the conference with a keynote discussing a number of buildings from around the world (three of which are featured here), each utilizing facade systems in different ways, ranging from below-grade skins to "tree-like" designs. An overarching theme of the projects Perrault presented was the use of the facade as a democratizing tool that filtered between the public and private realms, defining spaces both inside and out. An example of this could be seen with the refurbishment of Pont de Sèvres Towers (now know as "CityLights"), a collection of three office high-rises in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. Here, "the facade follows you into the building," said Perrault, explaining how the predominantly glass-based facade acts as a device that dampens the street/structure threshold. The concept of the threshold, however, prevails. More formal spaces branch out from a triple-height entranceway, likened by Perrault to a "theater" that looks out onto a large plaza in front of the two towers it is nestled between. For the upper reaches of the towers, Perrault prescribed more glass fenestration, the lighting arrangement of which gives the complex its new name. The interiors, meanwhile, were reorganized so that "everybody has a window," thus providing much access to daylight. Come sundown, spotlights illuminate the angled nature of the skin, highlighting its textural qualities. Perrault described the structures' presence on the landscape as “magic mountain.” "Access" was another key element of his speech. Perrault demonstrated how facades contribute to this in a multifaceted way. This could be seen at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea, where the building is built into the site, divided by a wide, sloping walkway that splits the project's two volumes, seemingly carving its way through the landscape. When designing below grade, Perrault noted that making the most of light is important. The wide path allows light to penetrate fenestration on both sides path. At night, the light emitted from these facades illuminates the outdoor area. Both of these qualities would usually suggest a very open and transparent facade. However, the vertical arrangement of window panels and angular approach to the building obscure views inside. This is necessary, as the walkway is a public street that extends from the local subway station. The area, however, has become a place for student congregation and activity, most notably being a venue for political protests (one of which attracted 3,000 students) against the incumbent South Korean president. "The design of this was initially a geographical statement and now it is a political story," Perrault noted. Keeping with East Asia, Perrault pointed to another project in Asia the Fukoku Life Tower in Osaka, Japan, which features a tapering facade that splays out at the base. This was in response to insurance firm Fukoku's desire to share the base of the of the tower with the public, creating what Perrault called "an atrium for the people," likening the form to that of a tree. "We changed the morphology of the basement, twisting the ‘trunk of the tree’ and connecting with the urban fabric which resulted in a very pure geometry," Perrault said. "The world is not flat, and never is the facade!" Another building discussed by Perrault was the Mechanics Hall at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland. An in-depth article on the building and its facade was featured by John Stoughton of The Architect's Newspaper and can be found here.

Snøhetta masterfully creates a new museum setting for 17,000-year-old cave art

When I tell people my daughter lives in France, their first thoughts are of Paris. When I say the south of France, they think of Cannes, Nice, and Marseilles. Actually, she lives two hours east of Bordeaux in a beautiful region known as the Dordogne. Buried amongst the stately chateaus and castles is a collection of artwork that has captured the imagination of the world—the cave paintings of Lascaux. Discovered in 1940, these prehistoric works of art were created more than 17,000 years ago in Montignac, France. At first, the caves were open to the public, but were closed in 1963 when it was discovered that humans exhaling carbon dioxide were damaging the artwork. Lascaux II, a facsimile of the original, opened in 1983, and is located 600 feet away. But, even still, human traffic was damaging the original. Subsequently, in 2012, Lascaux III was created as a traveling exhibit and it is currently touring Asia. To bring this whole fascinating story back to life, after it had been closed to the public for over 50 years, a design competition was launched in 2011 to create Lascaux IV. Its mission was to bring this world heritage site out of the darkness and back into the public’s eye, to provide access to the Dordogne region of France as an international cultural and scientific attraction, and to create a greater understanding of the history and meaning that spawned this Paleolithic cave art. The design competition attracted many of Europe’s leading firms, including Mateo Arquitectura, Auer+Weber, and Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Ultimately, in 2013, the jury selected the design team led by Snøhetta, of Oslo, Norway, working with local firm Duncan Lewis and interior-exhibition designers Casson Mann of London. Jury member Bernard Cazeau, a senator representing the Dordogne, said, “From the point of view of the scenography—which was, in our eyes, an essential factor—it’s the most successful project.” Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, one of the founding architects of Snøhetta, explained that “during the process of copying, you discover new information. It was a huge research investment.” The architects and exhibit designers learned how the ancient artists thought and acted. Those painters would draw multiple heads on a horse to simulate movement as the horse swam across a river. The building and its multiple exhibitions work beautifully as an integrated sequence of spaces. Snøhetta is recognized for its integration of landscape and architecture. The Lascaux IV Museum is masterful in this regard. The museum forms the edge of a sloping forest adjacent to a broad field. “The building is an insertion,” Thorsen explained, “a negotiation between the forest and the agriculture.” It is possible to walk from the entry plaza up a slope to the top of the building, not unlike Snøhetta’s design for the Oslo Opera House. “The building is not an abstract,” Thorsen said. It brings the museum experience to a new reality, reminding us we are all part of a 20,000-year continuum. Many people, including this writer, were skeptical about the value of a museum with copies of the cave art. I had visited the original cave paintings in the nearby French town of Rouffignac and have been trained to value original artwork. So how would this team of architects and exhibit designers create a place that could teach us new things, touch our hearts, and move our minds? With imagination, innovation, and technology, they created a whole new world worth every hour of your time and then some. I envisioned a fake cave and a gift shop, but as I approached this bold incision in the landscape, set against the forested hillside, I realized there was much more to this museum than I had imagined. The building is partially buried in the hillside near the original caves. The sequence of spaces skillfully takes the visitor from outside to inside and back outside again. There is, of course, the re-creation of the original caves; with a change in light, acoustics, and humidity, you feel like you are entering down into the cave as the artists did more than 17,000 years ago. Your eyes adjust to the dim light, and the paintings come alive. Over 50 artists and sculptors from the Perigord Facsimile Workshop labored for three years to reproduce the shape and texture of the cave, and, using the same materials as the original artists, captured the color, shape, and form of over 600 animals, 400 signs and symbols, and one human with a bird’s head. The gentle curvature of the cave walls was used to simulate the curvature of the animals’ bodies. It’s impossible not to wonder about who these Paleolithic people were and how they lived. And why did they spend the time and effort to tell us their stories? After exiting the caves, you enter a series of additional exhibition halls and theaters. Pieces of the cave are re-created and suspended from the ceiling. Digital images, projected on the paintings, explain how the artists created layers of meaning over time. Thorsen explained that “the cave has a meaning in its own right. The cave is itself an artifact.” Three mini-theaters trace the history of discovery in the caves since 1940. Then, a separate space, framed by multiple suspended digital monitors, explores how the cave paintings have influenced contemporary artists. Museums have a dual function: first, to display the art within in a visually stimulating way that allows visitors to learn, to grow, and to explore. And second, to create an architecture that engages the community and makes a design statement of its own. Snøhetta achieves both with a deft hand and a keen eye. The image of the building against the forest at dusk is a dramatic sight, expecting to draw nearly half a million visitors per year.

Studio Libeskind wins competitions for two new projects in France

This article was originally published on ArchDaily as "Studio Libeskind Wins Competitions for 2 New Projects in France." Studio Libeskind has won competitions for two new mixed-use projects in France, the firm announced at the MIPIM world property market conference this past week in Cannes. The first project comprises a retail, conference and transportation center for the city of Nice, while the second will see the firm complete a 150-meter-tall skyscraper in Toulouse. “With these important projects in two of the main French cities, we unveil our new development strategy to create urban mixed-use buildings. Once completed, both will become new landmarks for Nice and Toulouse. With Studio Libeskind, we are up to great things!” said Philippe Journo, CEO of Compagnie de Phalsbourg, the developer behind both projects. Gare Thiers-Est, Nice In Nice, Studio Libeskind has collaborated with Fevrier Carre Architectes and landscape architect Jean Mus to design the “Gare Thiers-Est” (East Thiers Station), a keystone project of a major urban redevelopment of Thiers Central station and its surroundings. The sculptural, faceted building will contain 18,300 square meters of luxury commercial space featuring shops, terraced cafes, and restaurants with panoramic city views, as well as a Hilton hotel, a 600-seat auditorium, and co-working facilities. The project will reconnect the severed urban fabric by creating new pedestrian connections between the street and the station, united the North and South neighborhoods currently separated by the railways and the Pierre-Mathis road. “This project represents the forward thinking of the City of Nice to create a major architectural landmark and to rejuvenate the surrounding area near the Theirs Station in this historic city,” said Daniel Libeskind. “For Nice, my aim was to create a building that is seen from all angles – that will become the connective tissue between two sectors and reconnect the neighborhoods. It will serve to reflect the city, the light, and the landscape.” Drawing inspiration from the mineral forms of azurite, the project will feature a glass and metal facade that will reflect the scenes of the city, landscape, and sky, rising 40 meters to obscure the rail tracks. The facade will also allow the building to be visible from the hills above the city, creating a beacon that is a celebration of infrastructure. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2017, with an estimated completion at the end of 2019. Occitanie Tower, Toulouse About 450 kilometers to the west, Studio Libeskind has designed the 150-meter-tall Occitanie Tower to serve as a new landmark for the business district of Toulouse. Located on the site of a former postal sorting center, the folding glass form will rise 40 floors, becoming the first true skyscraper in the city. Also a mixed-use project, the tower will include 11,000 square meters of office space, a Hilton hotel, approximately 120 apartment units, and a restaurant featuring panoramic views, as well as commercial and office space. A ribbon of vertical gardens designed by landscape architect Nicolas Gilsoul will spiral up the tower, acting as a natural extension of the lush park and waterway of Canal du Midi that winds through the city. “With its suspended gardens that change color during the seasons, the slight silvertine of the glazing of the façade will reflect the pink tones of Toulouse and the brightness of this material will change perception of the space, according to the variation of light,” explained Libeskind. “The tower becomes a unique object in a vast urban space—the tower will not only become a destination, but also a defining public space.” Sited east of the city center, the building will feature views of the Garonne River and the Pyrenees, located less than 100km away. The project is hoped to become the gateway to the city’s burgeoning business sector. “Toulouse is poised to assert itself as a new business hub in the region,” said developer Philippe Journo. “ The Occitanie Tower will create both an iconic landmark for the city as well as create a strategic economic generator for the district.” Studio Libeskind will collaborate with Toulouse architect Francis Cardete on the project. Construction is slated to begin in 2018 and complete by 2022. News via Studio Libeskind. Written by Patrick Lynch Archdaily_Collab_1

Detroit designers head to France for design biennale

More than 40 Detroit design firms and organizations will be featured in La Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2017. The 10th iteration of the international design show will take place throughout the month of March, and is entitled "Working Promesse." Detroit will be represented in three independent-but-connected exhibitions; the show has taken the future of work as its theme. Over 60 Detroiters will travel to France to present work, perform, and participate in panel discussions. A Detroit gift shop and “Detroit-style” coffee shop will be set up to serve Detroit dishes to the international crowd. One year ago Detroit was named a UNESCO City of Design, the first and only in the United States. Since then, organizations have capitalized on the designation by raising the profile of Detroit as a center for design. One of those organizations—the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3)—will play a leading role in the Biennale. “As a result of the UNESCO designation, we have this unique opportunity to elevate Detroit’s perspective to a global audience,” said Olga Stella, executive director of DC3 in a press statement. “This is just the beginning of future collaborations between Detroit and other international cities on the pressing issues that face our communities.” For the Biennale, DC3 will present Footwork, which will look at the unconventional collaborations between Detroit’s corporate, grassroots, and civic design organizations. The exhibit will be curated by Public Design Trust and will include experimental processes and products including the upcycling furniture prototype Future Foam, developed by Thing Thing. Other work by students from the College for Creative Studies and collaborations with corporate groups such as Henry Ford Innovation Institute, Carhartt, and Detroit Bikes will be featured as well. Akoaki Studio will create a carte blanche exhibition entitled Out of Site, which will address how Detroit’s residents are reinventing how they live and work. In a series of full-scale installations, artist and musicians will work with DetroitAfrikan Music Institution and French musicians. La Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne will be held in Saint-Étienne, France, from March 9th through April 9th.

Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse adorned with illusory art courtesy of Felice Varini

Defacing the work of Le Corbusier has become something of a trend of late. However, Paris-based Swiss artist Felice Varini has taken a more elegant approach to the fad. Using optical illusions, Varini's art installation, À Ciel Ouvert (Open Air) is located on top of Le Corbusier's La Cité Radieuse, built in 1952, an iconic modernist structure. “This is the first time that I have exhibited on, in, and with architecture designed by Le Corbusier," said Varini in a press release. "This place is a landmark, a huge influence. It is a true microcosm, designed as a small city with its range of complex volumes, a small city with a view over the large city of Marseille. It is extremely exciting!” Famed for his illusory artwork, Varini has applied his hallmark approach to numerous buildings-turned-canvases over the years. His work ranges from cellars to gothic churches, town squares, and a variety of urban environments. The art, by nature, relies on perspective and orientation. His style features a fragmented geometric aesthetic: circles, triangles and linear forms interact while others fall apart upon the concrete surface of the house. “My concern is what happens outside the vantage point of view,” said Varini in 2008. Speaking of his work on La Cité Radieuse, he added: “I generally scour the venue taking in its architecture, materials, history and function. Based on its varying spatial data, I define a viewpoint around which my initiative takes shape. For me a viewpoint is a point in the space that I choose carefully: it is usually situated at my eye level and preferably located in a key passageway, for example where one room leads to another, a landing, etc. I don’t make a rule of it, as spaces don’t all systematically have an obvious path." "The choice is often arbitrary. The viewpoint will function like a point of interpretation, that is, like a potential starting point to approach the painting and the space. The painted form makes sense when the spectator is in this spot. When the spectator leaves the viewpoint, the work encounters the space generating an infinite number of views of the shape. Therefore I do not see the accomplished work through this first point; this is encompassed in all the views that the spectator may have of it.”

Sou Fujimoto and Laisné Roussel unveil plans for a new vegetated tower complex in the south of France

Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto in collaboration with French firm Laisné Roussel have released plans for an 183,000-square-foot vegetated tower complex in Bordeaux. Titled "Canopia," the project comes after the RéInventer Paris scheme that saw Fujimoto and others respond to the task of reimagining the French capital with more vegetated proposals. In what appears to be a growing trend, green towers are sprouting up in Milan and Singapore courtesy of Stefano Boeri and WOHA, respectively. This mixed-use scheme sees four wooden towers, all bursting with trees and other plant life, rising to 164 feet. The lower levels will house retail space and offices with apartments. Above will be apartments with private balconies. Bordeaux City officials had invited Sou Fujimoto and Laisné Roussel to submit a proposal as part of a much wider 8.5 million square foot masterplan known as Euratlantique. The masterplan centers on the south eastern part of Bourdeaux where the Saint-Jean railway station will receive a new high-speed rail connection to Paris. With the new connection, Bordeaux hopes to establish itself as a major European city.   https://vimeo.com/158741801   Four vibrant roof gardens are located at the towers' peaks. Connectivity is a recurring theme within the project; staircases and other interior walkways are often prominently featured on the facade. Elongated timber needles connect the terraces. “Particular attention has been paid to delivering quality shared spaces, both on the fringes of the site with the terrace gardens, or at the heart of the development with the green oasis,” said the design team. In addition to acting as social spaces, the rooftops feature vegetable allotments, fruit trees, vines, a compost area, water reservoirs, winter garden, and a restaurant. In terms of structure, the building's timber frame comprises silver fir and spruce. Glu-lam wooden braces stabilize the building frame.

Copper Mesh Facade signals renewal in historic town center

"The copper woven mesh opens like a curtain over the city. It unfolds like a filter in front of a fully glazed facade. It shows off the facility while protecting it."

ARC.AME Urban Architects have designed a new School of Art in the center of Calais, a northern port city in France. Recently the town has been notable for a growing refugee population which has attempted to migrate to England by means of the Eurotunnel transit tunnel beneath the English Channel and ferries. The architects say this project exists as a symbol of the revival of the city center: “the powerful and original architecture of the project had to respect the balance and the scales of the context into which it was embedded.” The school program was designed to be fully public, allowing for freely accessible galleries. A secondary residential program provides 25 apartments, placed like houses on the rooftop.  The units are designed as duplexes, each with a south facing terrace. A central courtyard links these residences with the university program. The architects say one of the major challenges at stake in the revitalization of historic city centers, which have been abandoned for the suburbs, is the new lifestyle that a dense mixed-use environment creates.
  • Facade Manufacturer GKD France
  • Architects ARC.AME Urban Architects, DPLG and associate
  • Facade Installer Rabot Dutilleul Construction (General Enterprise)
  • Facade Consultants INGEROP Engineers, Babylone (Landscaper)
  • Location Calais, France
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System reinforced concrete frame with copper gold varnished mesh screen and extensive vegetated roof gardens
  • Products GKD/Spirale Escale (mesh facade); KME/Tecu Gold (copper roof)
With adjacent buildings literally tied into an existing commercial mall building on the site, demolition was a challenging aspect to the project. The new structure is coordinated to the massing heights of the contextual buildings, however it strongly varies in materiality.  A woven copper mesh product from GKD France screens a facade composed primarily of glazing, and formally opens up onto the city as a curtain. The mesh filters daylight, protecting art galleries and equipment from direct exposure. The coloration of the mesh incorporates a high gloss paint to protect the material from its coastal environment. The roof is detailed in a lacquered copper, subtly – nearly invisibly – transitioning to the metal mesh product which rolls over the facade walls. Several mesh configurations were tested to achieve desired lighting results for classroom and studio spaces. The radial section profile allows the product to be incorporated onto the facade as a single piece, without any splicing required. The architects say one of the greatest successes of the project is the qualities this solar shade provides: “We love many aspects of this project; the mesh, the concrete matrix, the central garden, the exhibition hall…but the thing that lived up most to our expectations is the quality of the light which diffuses all across the building and the visual transparencies between the several indoor spaces.”

AN is on the ground this week at MIPIM, a real estate conference in Cannes

This week, AN joins over 20,000 real estate professionals, property developers, and architects in the south of France at MIPIM, or Lemarche international des professionnels de l’immobilier. The 2016 iteration of the nearly 30-year-old international trade show carries the theme, “housing the world.” We will be reporting on development strategies, opportunities for architects, and market trends and projects. There are nearly 200 U.S. companies here in Cannes, and we will meet with many of them to understand how and why they have come to MIPIM, beyond the obvious charms of the cote d’azur.

Modernist master of the oblique, Claude Parent, passes away at 93

Claude Parent passed away over the weekend in Paris, a day after his 93rd birthday on Friday. He was one of the most influential modernist architects to come out of France and founder of the oblique function. Parent's aesthetic style is widely acknowledged for paving the way for architects such as Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, and Frank Gehry. His style often bears the hallmark of angled walls and roofing, articulating space in such way that had not been seen before on such a scale. The oblique style was developed with the help of urban planner and cultural philosopher Paul Virilio who drew inspiration from the disorientating properties of World War II bunkers that slumped down among sand dunes, hence obscuring the threshold between floor and walls. Together, Parent and Virilio formed Architecture Principe. Notable works include Sainte Bernadette du Balay at Nevers, France. A close friend of Parent, French architect and academic Odile Decq wrote in 2005: "If someone tells you that Claude Parent is over 80, do not believe it."  "His indignation is one that galvanizes and helps you to think about your dreams become possible. This drug is without any danger: it is a necessary prescription for the today’s students in architecture, fully invested in project reality but all frustrated with their dreams about tomorrow’s living," she went on to say. "Though often on the edge, his own heart never broke down, repaired by surgeries on the side road, some oblique roads, so strong and intense was the energy Claude put in it." Today, Decq added to her comments of eleven years ago. "Even if it has been repaired multiple times, last Saturday, while becoming 93, his heart has dropped off and I have lost a friend who was shaking my head to go further. See you soon, Claude!" Parent was rewarded for his contributions to architecture in 1979 when he claimed the Grand National Prize for Architecture. In 2010, he was awarded the title of Commander of the Legion of Honour, one of the highest decorations France can offer.

Sou Fujimoto and David Chipperfield among others tasked with “Reinventing Paris”

As part of a master plan comprising 23 sites across ParisSou Fujimoto, David Chipperfield, and 20 others have been named as winners involved in responding the the Mayor's call to "reinvent Paris." https://twitter.com/Paris/status/694829444243046400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw "A city like Paris must be able to reinvent itself at every moment in order to meet the many challenges facing it. Particularly in terms of housing and everything relating to density, desegregation, energy and resilience," said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. "It is important in today's world to find new collective ways of working that will give shape to the future metropolis." The scheme was launched last year at the start of November, and has prompted many architects and developers to submit plans for the 23 sites across the city. Ranging from empty brownfield sites, polluted wastelands, classified mansions, office renovations, and train stations, Hidalgo's plan has been hailed by many with French publication Talerma going so far as to call it a "stroke of genius." Despite the number of changes, one of the 23 sites, an 1880 neo-Gothic former Korean Embassy-turned-mansion has been left neglected. The judges deemed that no proposal (barely any were submitted) was worthy of construction and so the ageing structure will be left untouched on the Avenue De Villiers. The same cannot be said for the Messana railway station, however. Given the unusual location and former typology, many were inspired to make it their own and judges were spoilt for choice. The winning submission came from Lina Ghotmeh DGT Architects who transformed the space into a healthy eating haven. Including a rooftop vegetable garden, a laboratory for agroecosystem research, gardening classrooms, residences for young chefs, bar, and, of course, restaurant. Other notable winning submissions came from British architect David Chipperfield and Sou Fujimoto from Japan. Working alongside Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, Chipperfield will "reinvent" the Immeuble Morland, a 164-foot tall once state-owned building that lies on the river Seine. The mixed-use program will include a swimming pool, ground floor food market, gym, a hotel, offices, a creche, youth hostel, and set aside 53,800 square feet for social housing. The top floor will also offer panoramic bar and restaurant. Fujimoto, meanwhile, collaborated with revered French product designer Philippe Starck and Manal Rachdi of OXO Architectes. Fujimoto's project will stretch across the Boulevard Périphérique, by the Palais des Congrès de Paris and offer what appears to be a densely packed green roof. Like Chipperfield, Fujimoto dedicated a large portion of his project to social housing. In fact, this will assume 30 percent of the development that will also offer office space, a community center, kindergarten, and play area. The projects are set to cost over $1.46 billion and return $634 million in revenue to the city through the sale or long-term leasing of land. In addition to this, 2,000 over the course of three years are expected to be generated via construction alone.