Uncovering Viollet-le-Duc’s “Unexpected” Career

Half of a rhombohedron. Remains of a crystal system separating the glacier of Envers Blaitière Vallée Blanche (Viollet-le-Duc). Image © Médiathèque de l’architecture & du patrimoine

Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, the French architect most famous for the ‘restoration’ of Notre-Dame de , is a person we unequivocally associate with 19th century . Although there is no doubt that his interpretive restorations of medieval French monuments were some of his greatest achievements, a new exhibition at Paris’ Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine seeks to uncover a “well-connected character who pursued an uninterrupted career drawing, building, teaching, restoring, and many other things.”

In a review for DomusLéa-Catherine Szacka examines this first major retrospective dedicated to the designer, theorist and artist since 1980 in celebration of the bicentennial of his birth. According to Szacka curator Jean-Michel Leniaud has, in this exhibition, shifted focus to Viollet-le-Duc’s artistic output, thereby presenting “the less known and the more unexpected aspect” of his career.

Pushed Slab / MVRDV

© Philippe Ruault

Architects: MVRDV
Location: ,
Design Team: Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries with Frans de Witte, Bertrand Schippan, Catherine Drieux, Victor Perez, Delphine Borg, Billy Guidoni
Co Architect: North by North West, Paris, FR
Area: 19000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Philippe Ruault

Thibaudeau Architecte & Agence d’Architecture Guiraud-Manenc Design Sculptural Tourism Office in France

© Thibaudeau Architecte &

French firm Thibaudeau Architecte & Agence d’Architecture Guiraud-Manenc has earned second place for a competition to design the new tourism office for “Les Pays de Fontenay le Compte France.” Designed to encourage tourism in South Vendée, the design merges a contemporary style with a consideration for the historic and artistic identity of the area.

ZAC del Lilas Multi-Purpose Building / SCAPE

© Francesco Mattuzzi

Architects: SCAPE
Location: Porte des Lilas, 75019 Paris, France
Area: 3800.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Francesco Mattuzzi

Building a Campus Integration of Embedded Systems / Christophe Bidaud Architecture

Courtesy of

Architects: Christophe Bidaud Architecture
Location: Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray,
Area: 3880.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Christophe Bidaud Architecture

Zac Boucicaut In Paris / Ameller, Dubois & Associés Architectes

© Takuji Shimmura

Architects: Ameller, Dubois & Associés Architectes
Location: Paris,
Area: 7700.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Takuji Shimmura, Frederic Allinne

Community House of Lorient / Jean de Giacinto Architecture + Duncan Lewis Scape Architecture

© Stéphane Cuisset

Architects: Jean de Giacinto Architecture,
Location: , France
Area: 9435.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Stéphane Cuisset, Philippe Amoros

Les Océanides Mall / Atelier REC

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Architects: Atelier REC
Location: , France
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Atelier REC

Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

Fundamentals (Central Pavilion): Ceiling. Image © David Levene

Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas’ earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”

Paris’ City Council Rejects Herzog & de Meuron’s 180-Meter “Triangle Tower”

© Herzog & de Meuron

Widening the debate on whether or not should preserve its 19-century skyline or “embrace innovation,” Parisian city council members have rejected the controversial, 180-meter “Triangle Tower” designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Despite the 83-78 vote, the fight carries on; Mayor Anne Hidalgo has declared the veto to be invalid and hopes a new round of balloting will rule in favor of the tower. Though, in a city that fears of loosing its “existing urban fabric to skyscrapers,” it seems unlikely that the tower will be built. 

Secondary School / Hubert & Roy Architectes

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Architects: Hubert & Roy Architectes
Location: , France
Area: 8400.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Hubert & Roy Architectes, Abbadie

Viravent / Debarre Duplantiers Associés Architecture & Paysage

© Yohan Zerdoun

Architects: Debarre Duplantiers Associés Architecture & Paysage
Location: Henri Descot Street, 33150 ,
Architect In Charge: Martin Duplantier Architectes, Laurent Duplantier Architect
Project Manager: Jean-Baptiste Monthiers
Area: 7280.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Yohan Zerdoun, Arthur Pequin

Léon Blum Viaduct Bridge / RFR

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Architects: RFR
Location: , France
Architect In Charge: Jean-François Blassel / RFR
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of RFR

Canopia Park Housing / BABIN+RENAUD

© Cécile Septet

Architects: BABIN+RENAUD
Location: Mail Haroun Tazieff, 44300 ,
Area: 4185.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Cécile Septet

Reims Archives / Hamonic + Masson & Associés

© Sergio Grazia

Architects: Hamonic + Masson & Associés
Location: 129 Yser Avenue, 51100 , France
Structural Engineer: SIBAT
Area: 5154.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Sergio Grazia

EURALIS Headquarters / LCR Architectes

© Sylvain Mille

Architects: LCR Architectes
Location: Lescar,
Associated Architect: Laporte Konikoff
Technical Office: OTCE Aquitaine
Area: 86455.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Sylvain Mille, Courtesy of

Cachan Covered Market / Croixmariebourdon Architectures

© Luc Boegly

Architects: Croixmariebourdon Architectures
Location: 5 Léon Eyrolles Avenue, 94230 Cachan,
Collaborators: Thomas Bourdon, Nicolas Croixmarie, Cédric Goury, Pierre Mouton
Area: 1800.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Luc Boegly

Anglet South Coastline / Debarre Duplantier Associés Architecture & Paysage

© Arthur Pequin

Architects: Debarre Duplantier Associés Architecture & Paysage
Location: ,
Area: 38000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Arthur Pequin, Yohan Zerdoun