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Spotlight: Renzo Piano

06:00 - 14 September, 2017
Spotlight: Renzo Piano, The Whitney Museum. Image © Nic Lehoux
The Whitney Museum. Image © Nic Lehoux

Architecture is art, but art vastly contaminated by many other things. Contaminated in the best sense of the word—fed, fertilized by many things.
– Renzo Piano

Italian architect Renzo Piano (born 14 September 1937) is known for his delicate and refined approach to building, deployed in museums and other buildings around the world. Awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1998, the Pritzker Jury compared him to Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Brunelleschi, highlighting "his intellectual curiosity and problem-solving techniques as broad and far ranging as those earlier masters of his native land."

Pathé Foundation. Image © Michel Denancé Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Image © Nic Lehoux Harvard Art Museums Renovation and Expansion. Image © Nic Lehoux Menil Collection. Image © D Jules Gianakos + 24

The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

08:00 - 15 January, 2017
The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

As the common phrase attests, “history is written by the victors.” We therefore know that the story of the West is that of Europe and the United States, while the other actors in world history are minimized or invisible: it happened to the Chinese and Japanese during World War II, to the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth-century Europe, and to racial majorities in the common reading of Latin American independence. The same thing happens in architecture.

The current boom of the Global South is based not only on new work, but rather on the recognition of an invisible architecture which was apparently not worthy of publication in the journals of the 1990s. The world stage has changed, with the emergence of a humanity that is decentralized yet local; globalized, yet heterogeneous; accelerated, yet unbalanced. There are no longer red and blue countries, but a wide variety of colors, exploding like a Pollock painting.

This serves as a preamble to consider the outstanding projects of 2016 according to the British critic Oliver Wainwright, whose map of the world appears to extend from New York in the West to Oslo in the East, with the exception of Birzeit in Palestine. The Global South represents more than 40% of the global economy and already includes most of the world’s megacities, yet has no architecture worthy of recognition? We wanted to highlight the following projects in order to expand the western-centric world view, enabling us to truly comprehend the extent of architectural innovation on a global scale.

Plein Ciel / MG-AU / Michel Guthmann Architecture et Urbanisme

15:00 - 4 January, 2017
Plein Ciel  / MG-AU / Michel Guthmann Architecture et Urbanisme, © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

© Takuji Shimmura  © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Takuji Shimmura  + 27

Under One Roof / Kengo Kuma & Associates

22:00 - 14 December, 2016
Under One Roof / Kengo Kuma & Associates, © Joel Tettamanti
© Joel Tettamanti

© Michel Denance © Michel Denance © Michel Denance © Michel Denance + 42

  • Architects

  • Location

    Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Lead Architects

    Kengo Kuma & Associates / Javier Villar Ruiz (Partner in charge) with: Nicola Maniero, Rita Topa, Marc Moukarzel, Jaeyung Joo, Cristina Gimenez
  • Local Architect

    CCHE
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

56 Apartments in Nantes / PHD Architectes

13:00 - 14 December, 2016
56 Apartments in Nantes / PHD Architectes, © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

© Sergio Grazia © Michel Denancé © Sergio Grazia © Sergio Grazia + 23

Transformation of Office Building To 90 Apartments / MOATTI-RIVIERE

11:00 - 2 December, 2016
Transformation of Office Building To 90 Apartments / MOATTI-RIVIERE, © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 24

  • Architects

  • Location

    94220 Charenton-le-Pont, France
  • Architect in Charge

    Alain Moatti
  • Area

    3884.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2016

Le Signe National Centre for Graphic Design / MOATTI-RIVIERE

03:00 - 29 November, 2016
Le Signe National Centre for Graphic Design / MOATTI-RIVIERE, © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 19

  • Architects

  • Location

    52000 Chaumont, France
  • Architect in Charge

    Alain Moatti
  • Area

    2460.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre / Renzo Piano Building Workshop

03:00 - 4 July, 2016
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre  / Renzo Piano Building Workshop , © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

Courtesy of SNFCC. Courtesy of RPBW © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 22

ECOLE 42 / In&Edit Architecture

02:00 - 7 June, 2016
ECOLE 42  / In&Edit Architecture, © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 43

Mont-Blanc Base Camp / Kengo Kuma & Associates

03:00 - 19 April, 2016
© Kengo Kuma & Associates
© Kengo Kuma & Associates

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © CAUE / Béatrice Cafieri + 22

Science Says Beautiful Architecture Makes Us Happy and Healthy

14:30 - 31 December, 2015
Science Says Beautiful Architecture Makes Us Happy and Healthy, © Michel Denance
© Michel Denance

We all know exercise and being in close proximity to nature boosts our happiness and overall heath. However, the impact of the "environmental aesthetics" of our cities has never been studied, until now. 

A new study suggests that beautiful architecture is considered just as "scenic" and beneficial to our health and psyche as "greenery." 

Renzo Piano Defends London's Skyscraper Boom

12:00 - 27 October, 2015
Renzo Piano Defends London's Skyscraper Boom, © Michel Denance
© Michel Denance

"Cities face a choice of building up or building out," says Renzo Piano, according to a recent article on the Daily Mail. Responding to backlash led by the Skyline Campaign, a campaign spearheaded by architect Barbara Weiss that "aims to stop the devastation of London by badly designed and poorly placed tall buildings," Piano is defending London's controversial skyscraper boom by saying it's giving the one thing the city needs most: "space on the ground."

IGN and Meteo France Geosciences Center / Architecture Patrick Mauger

13:00 - 14 June, 2015
IGN and Meteo France Geosciences Center  / Architecture Patrick Mauger, © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 28

Auneau Cultural Center / Architecture Patrick Mauger

22:00 - 3 June, 2015
Auneau Cultural Center / Architecture Patrick Mauger, © Michel Denance
© Michel Denance

© Michel Denance © Michel Denance © Michel Denance © Michel Denance + 22

Valletta City Gate / Renzo Piano Building Workshop

04:00 - 20 May, 2015
Valletta City Gate  / Renzo Piano Building Workshop, © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 17

Rue Du Chateau Des Rentiers’ Housing / Explorations Architecture

16:00 - 26 March, 2015
Rue Du Chateau Des Rentiers’ Housing / Explorations Architecture, © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 20

  • Architects

  • Location

    Rue du Château des Rentiers, 75013 Paris, France
  • Design Team

    Explorations architecture + Integrale 4 engineers + ETB Antonelli engineers
  • Area

    1400.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

La Sucriere / Z Architecture

04:00 - 24 February, 2015
La Sucriere  /  Z Architecture, © Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé + 16

When One Size Does Not Fit All: Rethinking the Open Office

00:00 - 5 February, 2015
When One Size Does Not Fit All: Rethinking the Open Office, Pathé Foundation / Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Image © Michel Denancé
Pathé Foundation / Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Image © Michel Denancé

Workplace design has undergone a radical transformation in the last several decades, with approximately seventy percent of today’s modern offices now converted to open plans. However, despite growing concerns over decreases in worker productivity and employee satisfaction, the open office revolution shows no sign of slowing down. The open office model has proliferated without regard for natural differences in workplace culture, leading to disastrous results when employees are forced into an office that works against their own interests. If we are to make offices more effective, we must acknowledge that ultimately, design comes out of adapting individual needs for a specific purpose and at best, can create inviting spaces that reflect a company’s own ethos.