On the morning that France accepted a Special Mention for its exhibition “Modernity: Promise or Menace?” at the Venice Biennale, Curator Jean-Louis Cohen spoke to us about the questions raised within, on, and around the walls of the French Pavilion. Standing in front of a model of the farcical Villa Arpel from Jacques Tati’s famous film “Mon Oncle,” Cohen explained that France didn’t just absorb modernity (as Rem Koolhaas proposed) but that France inspired modernity, providing different expectations, promises and, as the title suggests, menaces.
For more images and curatorial texts check out our coverage of the pavilion here.
Architects: Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Valero Gadan Architectes
Location: 123 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75015 Paris, France
Project Leaders: Project: Gaston TOLILA et Élodie VADEPIED | Competition: Gaston TOLILA
Project Team: Project: Delphine ALTIER, Léa CHARRAT, Yseult DE DIEULEVEULT, Marie-Charlotte PROSPERI | Competition: Chen CHEN, Nathalie DIEBOLD, Damien FARAUT, Samuel LACAILLE, Fabrice LAGARDE, Sophie LAROMIGUIERE, Marie-Charlotte PROSPERI
Area: 18992.0 sqm
Photographs: Christophe Valtin, Patrick H. Muller
Renovated numerous times during its history, Gaumont-Alésia, a Parisian cinema housed in a structure that is over 80 years old, will now be revamped by firm Manuelle Gautrand Architecture. With a design that emphasizes filmography’s presence in modern culture, the Gaumont-Alésia is set to become an inviting cultural hub for the surrounding city, showcasing cinema’s influence on both the interior and exterior.
Both street facades will be composed of glass curtain walls shaded by pleated metal panels. These panels will be perforated by hundreds of LED “pixels” which will create an image across the pleats. Both entrances to the building become animated walls, broadcasting film stills, movie trailers, and advertisements, all meant to entice passersby. The LEDS are spaced fewer and farther apart toward the edges of the building, creating a stippling effect around the border of the images. At the entrances these animated panels will peel upwards, creating a canopy under which patrons can walk.