Over the weekend, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto exhibited an inhabitable sculpture of stacked and suspended aluminum cubes as part of the FIAC art fair in the Parisian Jardins des Tuileries’ gardens. The installation, “Many Small Cubes” is his first project in Paris and was commissioned by the Philippe Gravier art gallery as an exploration of nomadic structures and Sou Fujimoto’s concept of bringing architecture closer to nature.
“The floating masses of Many Small Cubes creates a new experience of space, a rhythm of flickering shadows and lights like the sun filtering through leafy trees,” described Sou Fujimoto.
Piuarch and Stefano Sbarbati Architecte Designs New Headquarters For IDF Habitat in Champigny-sur-Marne
Piuarch and Stefano Sbarbati Architecte have won an international design contest to design the new headquarters of the French housing company IDF Habitat in Champigny-sur-Marne. Designed in collaboration with Stefano Sbarbati, the new building is described as “linear and efficient,” but it also acts as a defining building in a new public square, offering “an example of how architecture can contribute to defining empty spaces, transforming them into social areas,” according to the architects.
The people behind Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton (FLV) in Paris, which is set to officially open on the 27th October 2014, recently invited a band of architecture critics to take a look around and pen their thoughts. Gehry’s bold approach to architectural form, most evident in buildings like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, matches the foundation’s aim to “promote and support contemporary and artistic creation” in France. According to their website, they in particular embody “a passion for artistic freedom.” How, then, has the enormous sailed structure, challenged by local opposition from the outset, settled into its Parisian parkland surroundings?
See what The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright, The Observer’s Rowan Moore, Vanity Fair’s Paul Goldberger, The LA Times’ Christopher Hawthorne, as well as the Architectural Digests’ Mayer Rus, had to say about Gehry’s latest completed building after the break.
Following a three-year redesign, the Place de la République in Paris reopened this year, welcoming back the regular organized protests that make it one of the most important public spaces in Paris. For the designers of the space, TVK agency, it was important not to infringe on what many Parisians consider their inalienable right to protest – however a question remained over how the square could be more amenable to other uses at the same time. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as “Place for Protest,” Veronique Vienne explores how TVK agency allowed Parisians to have their cake and let them eat it too.
In Paris, rituals of political discontent are traditionally celebrated on Place de la République. It is a favorite kick-off point for the countless marches that define democracy in the French capital. But before taking to the street in a slow-moving procession, crowds block traffic all around the esplanade, creating a gridlock that can cripple the city from Sacré Coeur to the Opéra. Meanwhile, citizens get to unfurl banners and shout slogans. It’s legal, good, clean fun.
Well, no more.
Paris-based architecture and engineering firm Marc Mimram has been appointed to design a new TGV station in Montpellier, France. To be completed in late 2017, the station is intended to serve up to 3.5 million passengers a year by 2030, connecting with the existing Perpignan to Barcelona line, ultimately reducing the travel time between Paris and Barcelona.
The station’s striking roof structure is composed of five 8 metre wide pleated shells, made from a fibre reinforced, ultra high performance concrete (UHPC). The high performance concrete combined with the pleated form allows the shells to be just 5-6 centimetres thick, with glass panes embedded directly into the concrete during casting.
Elizabeth de Portzamparc has won an international competition to design a new railway station in Le Bourget, France. Like Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue’s (EMBT), who was recently announced as winner of a similar commission, the Le Bourget is one of four stations that will be built as part of the ambitious Grand Paris Express (GPE) project which seeks to modernize the existing transport network and create an automatic metro that will connect new neighborhoods to Paris.
Elizabeth de Portzamparc’s winning entry will serve three communes: Le Bourget, Drancy and La Courneuve. Flexibility for future programming, station visibility, and the presence of nature are all major influencing aspects of the design.
More on the winning design, after the break.