Inside France’s “Modernity, Promise or Menace?” – Special Mention Winner at the Venice Biennale 2014
This year’s French Pavilion stood out as one of the best pavilions in the Giardini, communicating a clear, engaging thesis and receiving a Special Mention from the jury.
Curator Jean-Louis Cohen poses four questions throughout four galleries, demonstrating the contradictions that fill the story of modernity and architecture in France. The ambivalent responses of architecture to the original promise of modernity is shown through the juxtaposition of a continuous cinematographic montage (playing simultaneously throughout all four galleries) and large-scale objects.
Watch an excerpt from Teri Wehn Damisch’s film and read the curator’s statement after the break. For a virtual tour of the space designed by Paris-based firm Projectiles, follow this link. And make sure to keep an eye out for our video interview with curator Jean-Louis Cohen (coming soon).
Welfare Centre for Children and Teenagers in Paris / Marjan Hessamfar & Joe Verons architectes associes
Architects: Marjan Hessamfar & Joe Verons architectes associes
Location: Porte des Lilas, Paris, France
Area: 5,211 sqm
Photographs: Vincent Fillon
Architects: Michel Guthmann
Location: 81 Rue des Cévennes, Paris, France
Design Team: Michel Stéphanie Appert, Olivier Barthe, Valentin Bourdon, Bénédicte Caspar, Amélie Jonville, Céline Motte-Moitroux, Samuel Reist, Oona Savransky
Area: 6,500 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Michel Guthmann, Michel Denancé , Takuji Shimmura
The Architecture of Pompidou Metz: An Excerpt from “The Architecture of Art Museums – A Decade of Design: 2000 – 2010″
In honor of International Museum Day, we’re taking a look back at the 21st century’s most exciting museums. The following is an excerpt from the recently released book, The Architecture of Art Museums – A Decade of Design: 2000 – 2010 (Routledge) by Ronnie Self, a Houston-based architect. Each chapter of the book provides technical, comprehensive coverage of a particular influential art museum. In total, eighteen of the most important art museums of the early twenty-first century - including works from Tadao Ando, Herzog & de Meuron, SANAA, Steven Holl, and many other high-profile architects - are explored. The following is a condensed version of the chapter detailing Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines’ 2010 classic, Centre Pompidou-Metz.
The Pompidou Center – Metz was a first experiment in French cultural decentralization. In the late 1990’s, with the prospect of closing Piano and Roger’s building in Paris for renovations, the question arose of how to maintain some of the 60,000 works in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art available for public viewing. A concept of “hors les murs” or “beyond the walls” was developed to exhibit works in other French cities. The temporary closing of the Pompidou Center – Paris spurred reflections on ways to present the national collection to a wider audience in general. Eventually a second Pompidou Center in another French city was imagined.