Posts tagged with "France":

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Steven Holl Architects-designed Loisium Alsace Hotel finally approved for construction

Over 11 years ago, AN unveiled Steven Holl Architects’ design for Loisium Alsace Hotel, a sprawling resort building on the edge of a vineyard in the eastern French town of Colmar. Following several years of awaiting local permit approval, construction on the project began this January and is expected to be complete in October of next year. Designed in collaboration with the Switzerland-based firm Rüssli Architekten, the project combines a 100-room hotel with a spa and wine center totaling over 105,000 square feet. The design team was inspired by the red cliff of a former stone quarry on the site, as well as a millennia-old road that crosses the site that was once part of the pilgrim path to Santiago de Compostela. The concrete frame structure will be clad in blackened wood siding to blend into its natural and ancient context. From above, the project resembles the branches of a tree that resemble the surrounding vineyards and, according to the architects in a press statement, “gives a unique order and space to this building as it gently merges with the landscape’s slope.” The arborescent site plan also establishes several enclosed outdoor spaces, while the single-loaded corridors provide framed views of the surrounding landscape. The red-weathered steel of the event center pavilion, reminiscent of the red stone cliff in the distance, is the most prominent feature of the design. Its windows are made of “wine-colored glass” that will glow in several shades of red over the course of the day. The pavilion’s ground level will contain a wine gallery with a direct connection to the hotel restaurant, and its top floor will hold a gathering space with chapel-like acoustics to host chamber music, yet that can also be used as a place of silence and reflection, with views of the nearby monastery and abbey. Watercolors produced by Holl indicate that the event center pavilion was inspired by the concept of a pointed flower sprouting from a branch.
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Frank Gehry-designed Luma Arles Tower nearing completion

During his brief residency from 1888 to 1889 in Arles, a small and ancient city on the southern coast of France, the artist Vincent Van Gogh was apparently at his most inspired among its rugged limestone mountains, producing over 300 paintings and drawings that came to define his otherworldly vision. When Frank Gehry was commissioned nearly a century-and-a-half later to create a tower in the city, the architect drew inspiration from Van Gogh’s felt presence in the city to design a building of an equally otherworldly vision. Luma Arles Tower, a centerpiece of the Luma Arles arts center established by Swiss collector Maja Hoffmann, is a scaly, shimmering beacon on the edge of the city that is nearing completion. The photography studio Atelier Vincent Hecht recently documented the tower in a series that demonstrates the building’s willful incongruity in the densely-clustered city of Arles prior to its scheduled opening in spring of this year. The photos reveal that, much like Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street in New York City, Luma Arles Tower was envisioned as a sculpture above a pedestal. Reaching a height of 180 feet, the tower’s top half is composed of over 11,000 Rimex Linen metal panels that clad an irregularly shaped concrete and steel frame. It will host a wide range of programs for the arts center once complete, including archives, exhibition and presentation spaces, seminar rooms and a cafe/restaurant. The tower is the final element of the arts center, a former rail yard adaptively reused by New York-based Selldorf Architects and landscaped by the Brussels-based Bas Smets. Construction began on the site in 2014, a decade after the founding of the Luma Foundation, with the intention of locally supporting and producing experimental projects by artists and allying cultural institutions. The center has remained open during construction and has hosted contemporary exhibitions and community events during the Rencontres d’Arles festival.
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AN visits Bruther, a firm setting a new course for French architecture

A new generation of French designers is taking the country’s architecture in a new direction, from a position of opulence and excess to one grounded in humanism. At the forefront of this movement, Bruther, the Parisian practice established by Stéphanie Bru and Alexandre Theriot in 2007, works across architecture, research, education, urbanism, and landscape, consistently shunning fads in order to focus on the firm’s main preoccupation: malleability. Bruther’s flexible architecture is an attempt to assure its buildings endure regardless of changing requirements; the firm’s methodology insinuates that its buildings’ obsolescence is determined only by the limits of their users. Bruther’s projects form a blank canvas designed to give their occupants a hand in the building’s creation, ensuring that they are built for the users and not in spite of them. New Generation Research Center Caen, France With limited means, Bruther designed this 27,000-square-foot, 110-foot-tall building as a collaborative space and incubator dedicated to research and innovation for Le Dome, an organization aiming to create a tech hub in Normandy by providing spaces for like-minded individuals to further their research. Theriot refers to the research center as a “vertical hangar” in reference to the restrictive budget, austere material palette, and tall, open floors of the building. The belvedere on its top serves as an event space and frames views over the surrounding landscape all the way to the banks of the Orne river. Cultural and Sports Center Paris 20th arrondissement, France Nestled in Saint-Blaise, an area within Paris’s 20th arrondissement, Bruther’s 2014 cultural and sports center preserves one of the area’s only public spaces in one of Europe’s densest neighborhoods. Launched by the government’s urban regeneration program (Grand projet de renouvellement urbain), the center’s large uninterrupted spaces allow the building to host a myriad of uses and cater to the changing will of its community. The glazed curtain walls render the 14,000-square-foot building a legible monument to the life of its occupants. Residence for Researchers Paris 14th arrondissement, France Wedged between Paris’s Périphérique, the motorway that surrounds Paris, and the Cité Universitaire, a large academic residential campus, the Residence for Researchers was completed in 2017 for a public housing body. The building responds to the neighboring architecture as it sits on pilotis grazing the nearby ring road and is sliced on the lower levels by catwalks and ramps. Bruther cut away the middle third of the massing’s large cube so that two blocks flank a central passage that accommodates a triangular circulation core and an open spiral stair. The 50,000-square-foot residence holds apartments for researchers at the University of Paris. The H-plan allowed Bruther to play with transparency and depth, a stark contrast to the neighboring Brazil House or Swiss Pavilion by Le Corbusier. The design demonstrates Bruther’s rejection of pastiche and dogma, as the tectonics are a direct consequence of ideological and budgetary utilitarianism. Galeries Lafayette Pau, France The firm’s approach is further illustrated by its 2019 winning competition entry for the refurbishment of the upmarket French department store, Galeries Lafayette, in the southwestern city of Pau. Currently in the detail design stage, the scheme demonstrates the architects’ willingness to challenge preconceptions about contemporary retail spaces, hinting at a rebellion against black box typology. Instead, the verdant spaces, exposed structure, and ETFE panels allow for a light-filled building, reinstating a connection between the shopping mall and the city. Life Sciences Building Lausanne, Switzerland A collaboration with Belgian practice Baukunst, the Life Sciences Building for the University of Lausanne is due to be completed in 2024. Bruther’s first venture into laboratories, the building is as carefully considered as its older sibling, the Rolex Learning Centre by SANAA, nearby. Theriot speaks of the “organization of the plan” that fosters collaboration, and this building manifests as an “urban machine” that is almost Pompidou-esque in its forms. The building’s loose planning gives the flexible workspaces the ability to evolve with technology. These workspaces compose the main volume of the building, while the ancillary spaces, which are more fixed, form elements of the envelope. Forum Zurich, Switzerland The Forum, for the University of Zurich, is another collaboration with Baukunst and marks a turn away from the strict geometries of the practice’s previous buildings. The building’s jaggedly shaped floorplates produce a series of superimposed landscapes, or “plains,” that create a “little town” in which the users are left to their own devices. Alexandre states that the undefined spaces allow for a certain amount of “permeability and porosity.” The competition for this building was ultimately won by Herzog & de Meuron, so Bruther’s design is destined to remain on paper. Nonetheless, the scheme is another example of Bruther’s penchant for experimentation, which we will no doubt see more of in years to come.
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French architect and theorist Yona Friedman dies at 96

Yona Friedman, the Hungarian-born French architect and urban planner whose 1956 manifesto Mobile Architecture argued that the built environment, above anything else, should empower its inhabitants to take charge of their own individual destinies, has died at the age of 96. News of his passing was shared on his Instagram account. Born in Budapest in 1923 to a Jewish family, Friedman escaped persecution during World War II and resettled in Haifa, Israel. In 1957, Friedman emigrated to Paris at the invitation of Jean Prouvé, where he established the Groupe d’Études d’Architecture Mobile (GEAM) with Dutch architect Jan Trapman that same year. Friedman gained French citizenship nearly a decade later. Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, an era when utopian visions were largely scoffed at or outright ignored by the greater architectural community, Friedman gained international prominence for his revolutionary-for-the-time meditations on architecture and social mobility. A proponent of self-sufficiency, Friedman rallied against rigidity and oppression within the built environment, arguing that a building’s users should be afforded freedom and flexibility that was unheard of at the time.
Springing from his manifesto, Friedman’s visionary concept for Ville Spatiale, the Spatial City, perhaps remains his best-known contribution to urban planning and architectural theory. The Spatial City envisioned dense, compact urban centers in which outward growth was limited and new development spanned over existing buildings as part of a larger superstructure. Friedman’s numerous drawings and visualizations of the Spatial City garnered considerable attention for their playfulness and neo-futuristic approach. The influence of the Spatial City is vast and can be seen in the works of Archigram, Superstudio, and countless other artists, thinkers, and convention-pushing design collectives. In the 1970s, the United Nations and UNESCO took note of Friedman's humanistic approach and commissioned him to assist with disaster-relief housing campaigns in Africa and India. Friedman’s work has shown at countless exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (2003, 2005, 2009) and Shanghai Biennale (2007), and his drawings are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and at Paris’s Centre Pompidou. He enjoyed a flurry of renewed interest in 1999 thanks to an exhibition held at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam that recreated his Paris living room, along with the release of an accompanying monograph, Yona Friedman. Structures Serving the Unpredictable. In 2019, a public sculpture designed by Friedman titled Space-Chain Phantasy-Miami 2019, was unveiled at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Friedman received numerous accolades and awards for his contributions to architecture and urban planning including the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize in 2018. Early in his career, Friedman taught at a number of American universities including Harvard University, Columbia University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was also a prolific writer, publishing over 500 articles and several books over the course of his career, according to a biographic Dutch website that exhaustively documents Friedman's life, art, and teachings. His final published book was Yona Friedman. The Dilution of Architecture (2015). Friedman was married to French film editor Denise Charvein, whom he collaborated with closely over the course of his career. In the early 1960s, the duo collaborated on a series of animated films titled Stories of Africa that brought African folk tales to life. Charvein passed away in 2007. In a 2018 interview conducted at Milan Design Week, Friedman was asked if there were any projects that he would have liked to take on but didn't have the chance to. “The best expression for this is the everyday life, so my real project is to live tomorrow and I am repeating this project every day,” he responded.
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Villa Noailles indulges in the design of superstar homes

Unlike old-money elites, who are more likely to adhere to long-established aesthetic traditions, self-made upstarts are often more accepting to changing styles. Hoping to become trendsetters, these parvenus often align themselves with other fledgling talents or those attempting to redefine their respective disciplines. Though this transaction brings challenges, coming up in society together can be a great advantage. Putting trust in creatives who have yet to prove themselves can be risky. However, the ability to defend each other’s approach, pool resources, and share the limelight ensures that both parties achieve some form of success. One has only to think of the emerging European industrial class in the late 19th century and its appropriation of the art nouveau style as a means to differentiate itself from the old guard, assert its new affluent position, and express its progressive values. In turn, this new societal group was able to offer support for a nascent architectural movement. There is no better precedent for this exchange, especially since the early 20th century, than the relationships that have formed between celebrities and architects. Entertainment superstars have often called on their design counterparts to design homes that represent their wildest dreams. In many cases, architects are given carte blanche and limitless budgets. Such projects offer them the chance to flex their muscles and to express new styles or articulate new theories. A recently-opened exhibition at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, France, seeks to better understand this particular phenomenon. Curated by Audrey Teichmann, Benjamin Lafore, and Sébastien Martinez Barat, Houses for Superstars L’architecture hypermédiatisée surveys this theme from different perspectives. Read the full story on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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France mandates public buildings be built with at least 50 percent timber

Instead of forcing a uniform style of federal architecture, French President Emmanuel Macron wants to go green with government-funded structures. The Times reported that after 2022, Macron is aiming for all new public buildings in France to be built with at least 50 percent wood or another bio-sourced material. Not only that, but the President has his sights set on creating 100 urban farms across the country in an effort to bolster its large-scale sustainability measures. Julien Denormandie, the French minister for cities and housing, said the move was inspired by Paris and its recent low-carbon mandate to build structures that are at least eight stories or higher for the 2024 Summer Olympics from timber. “If it is possible for the Olympics, it should be possible for ordinary buildings,” he said in a statement. “I am imposed on all the public entities that depend on me and which manage development to construct buildings with material that is at least 50 percent wood or from bio-sourced material.” Dominique Perrault’s master plan for the river-adjacent Olympic Village includes a series of mid-rise developments that comprise 2,400 units of housing, offices, shops, restaurants, and activity centers. Located in the lower-income neighborhood of Saint-Denis, most of the buildings will be passive or energy-plus structures that utilize wood or other sustainable materials. City Lab pointed out that Paris is using the international sporting event as a way to regenerate the inner suburbs of Northern Paris. The project broke ground on its 126-acre site in November. The push to use eco-friendly materials on big building projects has already started in other cities across France too. In Bordeaux, the country’s first mass timber residential tower is currently under construction as part of a three-structure development called Hyperion. Designed by Jean-Paul Viguier, the 187-foot-tall building will feature 16 stories of housing and office space built around a concrete core. Each floor, which cantilevers slightly over the one below it, will be made of cross-laminated timber. Hyperion is expected to open next year.  As France increases the build-out of these sustainable structures, the country is also boosting access to nature throughout the country’s densest urban enclaves. Denormandie said the first set of urban farms, a group of 30 locations, will be announced this summer. The government also wants to build 90 low-carbon “eco-neighborhoods” that can adapt to extreme weather events such as heatwaves and floods. A new group called France Ville Durable is spearheading the effort.  
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The Architectural Beast distorts architectural imagery at the FRAC Biennale

For the 2019 Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain (FRAC) Biennale in Orléans, France, SCI-Arc director Hernan Diaz-Alonso curated The Architectural Beast, an installation featuring 17 contemporary artists and architects. Together with Diaz-Alonso, Los Angeles-based designer Casey Rehm co-produced the installation: 12 paired video screens that nod towards Marcel Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (or The Large Glass installation). The top panel exhibits printed images the artists have selected to represent their work, while the lower screens show that same imagery being transformed by artificial intelligence software developed by Rehm. Also named The Architectural Beast, the software was designed to independently alter the imagery presented over the course of the three-month installation. According to Rehm, the program's AI is "initially trained on curated datasets of images and texts of the artists representing an institutional understanding of architecture, to an understanding of architecture of populist valuation." The AI, in other words, spends each night conducting image searches for the day's most popular architectural images and then uses the results to manipulate the original imagery. "By the second month of its life," Rehm explains, "it should cross the 50 percent line of curated artist and internet images in its network."
"Through artificial intelligence," wrote Diaz-Alonso in the installation description, "the work featured will be exposed to a perpetual state of transformation and mutation. The exhibition gathers a key set of practices, primarily from architecture, but also from art and fashion, to reveal facets of the strange beast that the tumultuous paradigm shifts of recent decades have left behind." The AI also uploads the imagery as individual posts on Instagram daily under the username @thearchitecturalbeast, each of which is complemented by cryptic texts that are developed by a separate AI program. This writing, which at first glance read like heavy theoretical essays with the aid of predictive text, was initially trained on the written work of Rehm, Liam Young, and Damjan Jovanovic. The combination of text and imagery created by The Architectural Beast demonstrates one way architects can let go of the wheel and give artificial intelligence greater agency in the role of human-centered design. The installation is currently on view through January 19.
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Foster + Partners' Marseilles airport extension flagged by environmental agency

Foster + Partners’ design for a new extension to the Marseilles Airport on a former brownfield site is being scrutinized by France’s environmental agency, which has called for a resubmission of the plans in fear they don’t align with the country’s ambitious plan to go carbon neutral by 2050.  The Autorité Environnementale (AE) said that the current plans are “underestimating the project’s environmental impacts and overestimating its socio-economic benefits” in their statement. Areas of concern for the AE include Foster + Partners’ addressing of traffic, noise, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and even the impact on local birdlife.  The renowned British firm won the competition for this extension in 2017, beating Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for the chance to add the “missing piece” between the existing buildings of the airport—the original ’60s modernist wing by Fernand Pouillon and a 1992 addition designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership. The winning design features a prominent glazed volume, a space for newly connected departures, and arrivals hall. In addition to the 72-foot-tall windows that will pour light into the building, an array of continuous skylights in the inverted beam roof will add to the naturally-lit "glass box" effect. The goal? “A clarity of layout and expression,” according to the firm, inspired by Pouillon’s project, with the ability to process over 12 million travelers per year.  “In regards to the content, the extension project has been thought to be virtuous,” said an AE spokesperson, clarifying that the query wasn’t a question of the design, but of the methodology. While the architects defend their claims that the airport will be sustainable—even exceeding the cutting edge French HQE and E+C- standards—the project's focus on new public transit connectivity and more efficient airplanes seemed to miss the mark for the AE and have muddied the proposal for the agency. The new E+C- standards place a priority on energy-positive and low-carbon emission building projects, ideas that came into effect after pledges at the 2016 Paris Agreement amongst UN countries.  France is due to receive the resubmission of more detailed plans for environmental action at the Aeroport Marseilles Provence by September 2019 and has reaffirmed its commitment to environmental action in the face of a growing denial of climate change in international politics. The carbon neutrality plan is seen as being “trialed” by the French, and the government’s attention to the new law, just implemented in June, has sent ripples throughout the international community.  Foster + Partners has recently taken several internal steps to address and highlight climate concerns, and have expressed their commitment to the Paris Agreement and movements like Net Zero Carbon Commitment. Foster + Partners has publicly pledged to have 100 percent of their own occupied offices be carbon neutral by 2030, and has joined Architects Declare, a collective of UK firms verbal in their recognition and combating of climate change. 
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Here's what you need to know about the stadium hosting the World Cup finale

This Sunday, all eyes will be on the pitch of the Parc Olympic Lyonnais (Parc OL) for the final match of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The United States and its yet-to-be-determined competitor will go head to head in the French town of Lyon for the much-anticipated game, and while most will hope to see soccer star Megan Rapinoe back on the field, the impressive stadium architecture will also be back on full display for one last time. Designed by Populous and Paris-based firm Naço Architecture in 2016, the low-lying Parc OL, a.k.a Groupama Stadium, is a 578,000-square-foot arena holding nearly 60,000 seats. Its most distinctive feature—a turtle-shaped shell covered in white fabric—shines in the midday sun and is illuminated from within during nighttime play. The four-story concrete, glass, and steel venue actually boasts the nickname “Stade des Lumières” or Stadium of Lights, due to this. In addition, the undulating canopy was designed to mimic the rolling hills and forests found in Lyon, and its support columns look like tree branches, according to Populous principal Gary Reeves in conversation with Interior Design.   Built just ahead of the 2016 European Championships, the $468 million stadium has quickly become one of the top sporting venues in all of France. It was one of nine stadiums selected to be a part of this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, and as the largest venue on the list by far, it was slated to host nine matches total, including last Monday's semifinal and the upcoming final.  One of the most compelling reasons so many matches have been scheduled in Lyon is because of the town’s bigtime football history. Several major French professional players have come out of the 500,000-strong city, which sits southeast of the country’s core. Parc OL is also home to the Olympique Lyonnais, the Ligue 1 football club—hence the red- and blue-blocked colors of the bowl. Its women’s team is currently on a 13-year winning streak in the national league, and they’ve won the UEFA Women’s Champion’s League six times since 2011.  But World Cup-level soccer isn’t the only pro sport the city excels in. Rugby is also huge, as is volleyball, basketball, and ice hockey. In other words, there are plenty of other large-scale sporting venues scattered throughout the city. While Lyon’s massive sports scene attracts throngs of local and visiting spectators, Parc OL was built outside the heart of the city to the east, away from many other venues. It’s situated next to a commuter highway and is largely surrounded by residential neighborhoods and farmland in the commune of Décines-Charpieu. In order to keep noise from seeping outside the stadium and into the adjacent community during gameplay, Populous designed the space with a large, open bowl that traps the sound of chants going from the north to the south stands. Since Olympique Lyonnais home fans are known to be noisy, the fabric roof also reduces sound reflection Other carefully-designed attractions inside Parc OL include a series of lounges on the outer edges of the stadium sectioned off with double-height glazing. Food and beverages areas are also located here. The Salon des Lumières, one the arena’s seven larger dining options, was intentionally designed with a very sleek, French style that fuses the club’s identity in a seamless fashion. Creating subtle nods to the brand on the venue’s interior was important, according to Naço Architecture founder Marcelo Joulia. The design team integrated this, and a handful of other fan-centric elements such as 110 executive suits, multiple meeting rooms, banquet halls, and bars to get more people out to the stadium. According to Elizabeth Miglierina, an associate architect in Populous's London office, another driver for interest in the stadium is the fact that the pitch is nearly visible from the podium. She wrote in an interview that the protective roof canopy allows for a more dynamic experience in the communal spaces at Parc OL. The spectator concourses were designed by Miglierina and her team to also allow for varying views of the field and the distant French Alps. Some of those spaces are cathedral-like in feel, with triple-height ceilings and work by global street artists adorning the walls as part of Park OL’s Offside Gallery. The gallery is open even on non-match days.  Like the stadium’s public spaces, the green car park that surrounds the structure also doubles as a place for congregation and play when matches aren’t going on. Populous worked with French group AIA Associés on the durable landscape. For real-time aerial views of the venue, watch the final match of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup this Sunday at 11 a.m. EST. 
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This winery holds its own with a self-supporting limestone facade

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With a wine-producing history stretching back three millennia to Greek colonization in the 6th century B.C., the French region of Provence is nearly synonymous with viticulture. Winemaker Les Domaine Ott Chateau de Selle has called the region home since 1912 and last year completed a full-scale revamp of its facilities by Paris-based Carl Fredrik Svenstedt Architect (CFSA) featuring a facade of self-supporting one-ton blocks of local stone. The 47,000-square-foot winery is partially nestled into the hillside, rising from a stepped concrete foundation. The two primary elevations of the structure run adjacent to each other, with that to the east following a gentle curve. Each stone block of the facade is approximately 3 square feet in area and 1.5 feet in height, stacked to reach a total height of nearly 33 feet. Each stone block weighs approximately a ton, allowing for the insertion of certain load-bearing elements into the blocks for interior slabs and beams.
  • Facade Manufacturer Carrier De Provence Poggia Provence
  • Architects Carl Fredrik Svenstedt Architect
  • Facade Installer Printemps de la Pierre
  • Location Taradeau, Provence, France
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System Self-supporting limestone facade with a concrete core
  • Products La Pierre du Pont-du-Gard limestone Soleal Evolution Technal aluminum window frames
The arrangement of the self-supporting stone blocks dilates and contorts according to interior function; the central body housing dozens of stainless steel and wooden wine barrels must be guarded from UV rays, while gaps in the imposing elevations crop towards the north and south for office spaces and screened courtyards. For French vineyards, the concept of terroir, or the unique qualities of local mineral and environmental conditions, is directly credited for the final palette of each vintage. For CFSA, it was imperative that the design of the new winery similarly reflect the surrounding geography. To this effect, the design team procured the beige limestone blocks from quarrier Carrières de Provence who source from local a limestone quarry dating back from the Roman era. The large-grain stone, known as La Pierre du Pont-du-Gard, was first roughly harvested from the quarry and subsequently fashioned in an on-site workshop with diamond disc rotors. “Using stone quarried nearby was coherent for the insertion of such a large building into the landscape,” says Carl Fredrik Svenstedt, “at the same time the stone has fantastic thermal properties for a winery in a hot climate, with great mass inertia and hygrometry, while also being very accessible financially.” Following fabrication, the stone blocks were transported 125 miles from Carrier de Provence's facilities to the construction site and craned into position atop the perimeter of the concrete shell. Joinery of the blocks was fairly straightforward: they are held together by gravity and mortar. Since Provence is located in an active seismic zone, CFSA added two key elements to boost earthquake resistance: every sixteen feet, the stone piers were hollowed to facilitate the insertion of a vertical concrete pier directly to the foundation, while strategically placed pins are used to the same effect for areas with significant openings. Similar to historic wineries that rely on a system of vaults to allow for flexible interior floor plans, the great halls of the facility are supported by a system of precast concrete beams and columns. CFSA relied on rebar and infill concrete between limestone columns and the core to tie the stone and concrete elements into a cohesive structural system.
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Paul Andreu, French Modernist hero, has passed away

Iconic French Modernist architect Paul Andreu has passed away at age 80. The legendary designer is best known for the futuristic designs he created for France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) outside of Paris, where Andreu served as chief architect between 1967 and 2002. Andreu was spotted in a group photo featuring Dominique Perrault, Christian de Portzamparc, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, and Jean Nouvel on social media last week while attending a dinner at the Centre Pompidou honoring architect Ando; France’s Le Monde, reported that Andreu appeared to be very tired to several journalists at the event. Andreu passed away just a few days later.
Andreu is credited with the airport’s signature Modernist design elements, including the much-Instagrammed Terminal 1 at the airport. The circular building is punctuated by a skylight-topped atrium that is crisscrossed by sloping, glass tube escalators, elements that help bring people from upper-level drop-off and check-in areas to the shopping and terminal levels located below. Andreu joined the project partway through design—development for the airport had begun in 1964—and is credited with the drum-shaped design for the terminal. The iconic structure features singularly-programmed floor plates and its design was inspired by the form of an octopus. Andreu was also chief designer for the airport's other terminals. In 2002, a partial collapse at the then-under-construction Terminal 2E resulted in the deaths of four people. Independent investigators did not find a singular cause for the failure but instead blamed tight budgetary constraints and a resulting lack of margin of error in the safety-related elements for the tragedy. Andreu, in turn, blamed contractors for preparing a faulty concrete mix for the structure, which was designed as a thin concrete barrel vaulted system. Eventually, the collapsed elements were demolished and replaced with a new terminal of more conventional design. Architectural Record reported that before his career-defining work at CDG, Andreu worked as chief of construction on the Johan Otto von Spreckelsen-designed Grande Arche monument in Paris’s La Defense district. The arch was built to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution and was inaugurated in 1989. According to Structurae, Andreu was also responsible for the design of many other airports around the world, including the Jakarta Airport in 1986 and airports in Tehran, Iran and Harare, Zimbabwe, both from 1996. Andreu also designed the Beijing Opera and Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai, China, in 2002.
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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.”