Le Marais Social Housing and Offices / Atelier du Pont

© Frédéric Delangle

Architects: Atelier du Pont
Location: 25 Rue Michel le Comte, 75003 Paris,
Architect In Charge: Anne-Cécile Comar, Philippe Croisier, Stéphane Pertusier
Design Team: Alice Berthelon, Aline Defert, Ariane Rouveyrol
Area: 4500.0 sqm
Photographs: Frédéric Delangle

UNIQLO Le Marais / Wonderwall

© Hufton+Crow

Architects: Wonderwall
Location: 39 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75004 Paris, France
Area: 800.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Hufton+Crow

Frank Gehry’s “Haute Couture” Art Gallery for the Fondation Louis Vuitton

The Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne is set to open this fall. Image © victortsu via Flickr

Because of – rather than in spite of - Frank Gehry‘s seeming inability to design something rectilinear, CEO of Louis Vuitton Bernard Arnault specifically sought him out to design the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a private art gallery in Paris. Arnault asked Gehry to create something worthy of the foundation’s first artistic act; “a haute couture building.” The resulting glass palace is immediately recognizable as a design, with a form that conjures images of sailboats and fish. In this article for Vanity Fair, Critic Paul Goldberger considers the building within the prestigious history of Paris museums, and within Gehry’s larger body of work. Click here to read the story.

34 Football Fields of Museums: Rem Koolhaas Talks at the Galeries Lafayette

“I feel a misfit in my own time,” says Rem Koolhaas, setting the tone. Seated in soon-to-be renovated Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Koolhaas bares all intellectually through the course of his lecture. As founder of Rotterdam-based OMA with a worldwide practice, candid conversations with Koolhaas are rare. The discussion provides a glimpse into the creative process of one of the world’s leading architects and current Curator of the Venice Biennale of Architecture. Koolhaas confides in the audience from the outset, admitting his discomfort with current architecture. “From the inside of my current condition, I feel profoundly out of step with the contemporary situation,” says Koolhaas, adding ”I’m very annoyed by the contemporary belief in comfort as the ultimate virtue.”

Read on after the break for more summary of the fascinating lecture

Koolhaas stands at the intersection of art and architecture, deliberating on the evolution of museum design. Using the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern by Herzog & de Meuron as an example, Koolhaas states: “In order to fill spaces like this, artists are forced into an apocalyptic mode as only very strong emotions register – this is not a space you can fill with delicacy.” Koolhaas’ solution to the apocalyptic problem can be found in his recent design for the renovation of Galeries Lafayette, a heritage protected building in Paris with zero tolerance for structural modification. The design calls for movable floors installed in a steel-framed courtyard – the only intervention available in the listed building. “The beauty of preservation is that it begins with acknowledging that another architecture is worth keeping,” concludes Koolhaas.

Apartment in Paris / Schemaa

© Fred Toulet

Architects: Schemaa
Location: Paris,
Architect In Charge: Maria Enescu, Simon El Hage
Area: 32.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Fred Toulet

Video: Re-imagining Paris Through Archi’llusion

Have you ever treated a famous city like your very own sketchbook? Claire and Max of Menilmonde did just that. The duo re-envisioned the buildings and monuments of by capturing the lower stories through video and sketching imaginary additions in a project that viscerally challenges pre-conceived attitudes towards iconic structures. Take a walk through the City of Love and experience it anew as a work of art.

Student Hall of Residence + Family Homes / Babled Nouvet Reynaud Architectes

Courtesy of

Architects: Babled Nouvet Reynaud Architectes
Location: 387 Rue de Vaugirard, 75015 , France
Area: 2910.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Babled Nouvet Reynaud Architectes

Paris’ Grande Arche to get €200 million Revamp

© Pete Sieger

The French government has announced that it is committing €200 million towards restoring the Grande Arche de la Défense, the 110m tall hollow cube which marks the Western end of Paris‘ Axe Historique. The arch was completed in 1989 to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution, however in its 25-year lifespan it has not fared well: an elevator scare in 2010 forced the rooftop facilities to close, and the area around the North tower has been closed to the public due to the risk of falling marble tiles. Studies conducted between 2004 and 2010 concluded that one in six of the facade tiles had been severely damaged by rain.

The €200 million investment will focus on the arch’s Southern tower, where workers for the French ecology and housing ministries who occupy the space have complained of a lack of natural light and poor working conditions.

More on the Grande Arche’s future after the break

Silos 13 / vib architecture

© Stéphane Chalmeau

Architects: vib architecture
Location: Paris,
Architects In Charge: Bettina Ballus, Franck Vialet
Area: 4478.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Stéphane Chalmeau, Daniel Moulinet, Courtesy of

Has The Surge Of Visitors to Museums & Galleries Reached A Tipping Point?

Crowds around Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre, Paris. Image © Guia Besana

In an article for the New York Times Rachel Donadio examines Masterworks vs. the Masses. From the Louvre in Paris to London’s British Museum, Florence’s Uffizi to the Vatican Museums, the increasing surge of visitors to these international cultural nodes “has turned many museums into crowded, sauna-like spaces.” Balancing everyone’s right to be “nourished” by cultural experiences with protecting and preserving the works of art in question is a very real problem. According to Donadio, ”even when the art is secure, the experience can become irksome.” With some museums seeing annual visitors of up to 6.7 million visitors (British Museum), addressing the issues faced by institutions that are a victim of their own success is becoming more and more pressing. Read the article in full here.

Reviving Vacant Buildings: A Tale of Two Cities

The Gardens in the early 1900s when it was the Jefferson County Armory. Image © Diane Deaton Street via Flickr

A former treasure in Louisville is now nothing more than a storage facility, while a dilapidated office building in Paris has sat empty for months on end. Both of these cities are taking proactive, but wildly different, measures to help the valuable vacant buildings and lots in their jurisdictions find new life. To learn more about each city’s potential solution to this global problem, keep reading after the break.

Epée de Bois – Nursery / h2o architectes

© Julien Attard

Architects: h2o architectes
Location: 5 Rue de l’Épée de Bois, Paris,
Area: 300 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Julien Attard

The Paris Debate: Must Preservation Inhibit Urban Renewal?

La Samaritaine was once Paris’ most famous department store. Image © Wikipedia

What is the preservationist’s role in our modernizing world? According to Michael Allen of Next City, preservationists exist to ensure that redevelopment meets both cultural heritage and economic demands. Read his entire article, originally published on Next City, below.

Imagine Institute / Valero Gadan Architectes + Ateliers Jean Nouvel

© Christophe Valtin

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
Year: 2014
Photographs: Christophe Valtin, Patrick H. Muller

Manuelle Gautrand to Revamp Paris’ Alésia Cinema with Hundreds of LED “Pixels”

Facade Closeup. Image © KDSL

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.

Le Clos Y / Dai Sugasawa

© Antoine DUHAMEL

Interior Designers: Dai Sugasawa
Location: 27 Avenue du Maine, 75015 , France
Project Chief: Simon Gasquet
Architects Chief: Pierre Millet
General Construction: Adriano de Sousa (CREADS)
Area: 100.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Antoine DUHAMEL

Welfare Centre for Children and Teenagers in Paris / Marjan Hessamfar & Joe Verons architectes associes

© Vincent Fillon

Architects: Marjan Hessamfar & Joe Verons architectes associes
Location: Porte des Lilas, Paris,
Area: 5,211 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Vincent Fillon

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever

After being destroyed by and laying in ruins for 60 years, the Reichstag became a symbol of the new democracy in the 1990s with Norman Foster’s renovation. Image © Flickr CC User Werner Kunz

With no casualties, last week’s fire at the Glasgow School of Art, which caused significant damage to parts of the building and gutted Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s canonical library room, will be remembered as a tragic event that robbed us of one of the best examples of Art Nouveau of its time. The intention of the School of Art is to restore the building in the hope that in generations to come, the fire will be all but forgotten, a strategy which has been largely well received by the profession.

However, in the case of other fires things have not gone so smoothly: for millennia, fire has played a big role in determining the course of architectural history - by destroying precious artifacts, but often also by allowing something new to rise from the ashes. Read on after the break as we count down the top 10 fires that changed the course of architectural history.