Jean Nouvel has lost a court battle aimed to remove his name from the newly opened Philharmonie de Paris. As The Telegraph reports, Nouvel claimed that the £280 million concert hall was inaugurated prematurely and parts of the building was “sabotaged” in doing so, thus believing it to be morally inapt from him be associated with the building.
“The architecture is martyred, the details sabotaged,” he said in a Le Monde editorial, “so taxpayers will have to pay, once again, to correct these aberrational decisions.”
With an idea based on “flexibility, mingling and openness,” Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates have been announced as winners of a restricted competition to design a new Ecole Polytechnique learning center at Paris-Saclay University. The winning scheme, chosen over four finalists, will consolidate six institutions under one roof: Ecole Polytechnique, Institut Mines-Telecom, AgroParisTech, ENSTA ParisTech, ENSAE ParisTech and Institut d’Optique (IOGS).
A curved street grate becomes an umbrella for a shepherd and his sheep, and a construction site is transformed into a fortress for mop-wielding guards in the interactive street art of French artist Charles Leval, better known as Levalet. Seeking inspiration from the Parisian streets, Levalet is known for his site-specific, India ink drawings that playfully interact with their surrounding architecture. “Topography is very important for me, this is why I always check a place out before I work on it,” Levalet said in an interview with Underground Paris. “I try to mix the world of representation with the real world by playing on the physical cohesion of the situations I put up. Architecture supports my work. Then I work on staging the artwork with photographs.”
After boycotting the premature opening of the infamous Philharmonie de Paris, Jean Nouvel has taken his frustrations to court demanding that his name and image be removed from all references to the publicly funded €390 million concert hall. The French architect, who has claimed to be wrongly vilified as a “spoilt-star artist” and unfairly blamed for the project’s spiraling costs, does not “wish to express himself any further on the project.”
He has asked the court “to order amending work” to 26 “non-compliance” areas that do not comply with his original design. This areas include parapets, fireplaces, facades, the promenade and 2,400-seat concert hall itself.
Challenging the notion that beauty is subjective, Alain de Botton has made a case for attractive cities, believing that a city’s beauty is key to its success and citizens’ quality of life. The Swiss philosopher, author and founder of London’s The School of Life believes that attractiveness is the primary reason why many choose to vacation to Paris, and not Frankfurt.
“We think beauty is subjective, and so no one should say anything about it,” says Botton. “It’s a very understandable qualm, but it’s also horribly useful to greedy property developers.”
So, what makes a city attractive? Find out Botton’s six points for beautiful cities, after the break.
The City of Paris has approved MVRDV’s plans to overhaul a 1970s urban block in Montparnasse. The ambitious plan aims to “reintroduce the human scale” and improve “accessibility and programmatic identity” to the aging mixed-use development. As part of the restructuring, the building’s existing public library, hotel, commercial and office space will be expanded and a new kindergarten, conference center and social housing units will be added.
When asked by the City of Paris to envision its future, Planning Korea turned to the uncharted microbial world of the city’s parks. Their observations lead them to an unusual proposal: shape the future “Greater Paris” by infilling voids within the urban landscape (in this case, between two bridges in the heart of Porte Maillot) with a floating, “organism-like” complex of mixed-use pods designed to coexist with the “macro world of artificial structures.”