Architects: Atelier Zündel Cristea
Location: Notre-Dame De Bon Secours, 68 Rue des Plantes, 75674 Paris, France
Design Team: Nicolas Souchko and Mario Russo, Elena Melzoba, Célia Horn, Alberto Gatti, Consultants Igrec Ingénierie, Atelier Villes et Paysages, VS-A, Acoustique & Conseil
Area: 29000.0 sqm
Photographs: Sergio Grazia
French architect Anne Démians has been named the winner of a competition to renovate and expand the Paris Tech Higher School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry (ESPCI), the 120-year old Nobel School. The competition, which seeks to convert the university into a leading research center, garnered submissions from such designers as Rem Koolhaas and Renzo Piano. As part of a larger transformative campaign undertaken by the school, the ESPCI redesign aims to elevate the Ile de France area to a metropolis standing.
Read on after the break for more on the 176 million Euro proposal.
Architects: Nunc Architectes
Location: 122 Rue des Poissonniers, 75018 Paris, France
Design Team: Emilie Faivre, Adrienne Fabre, Guillaume Zilio, Pierre Beout, Julie Bourdin, Vincent Rey-Millet, Anne-Emanuelle Metivier, Melanie Passot, Julien Perrot, Marion Piot, Pauline Scherrer
Area: 7340.0 sqm
Photographs: Luc Boegly
World Expos have long been important in advancing architectural innovation and discourse. Many of our most beloved monuments were designed and constructed specifically for world’s fairs, only to remain as iconic fixtures in the cities that host them. But what is it about Expos that seem to create such lasting architectural landmarks, and is this still the case today? Throughout history, each new Expo offered architects an opportunity to present radical ideas and use these events as a creative laboratory for testing bold innovations in design and building technology. World’s fairs inevitably encourage competition, with every country striving to put their best foot forward at almost any cost. This carte blanche of sorts allows architects to eschew many of the programmatic constraints of everyday commissions and concentrate on expressing ideas in their purest form. Many masterworks such as Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion (better known as the Barcelona Pavilion) for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition are so wholeheartedly devoted to their conceptual approach that they could only be possible in the context of an Exposition pavilion.
To celebrate the opening of Expo Milano 2015 tomorrow, we’ve rounded up a few of history’s most noteworthy World Expositions to take a closer look at their impact on architectural development.
On the banks of the river Seine, just east of the Île de la Cite and downtown Paris, stand the four glittering towers of the National Library of France. Bent around the outskirts of a public esplanade, these towers are Dominique Perrault’s modern take on the age-old Parisian tradition of monumental public architecture. The project is both volume and void, enclosure and exposure, a juxtaposition of contrasting ideas that is as reverent of its place in a thousand-year-old legacy as it is deliberately self-critical.
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.