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The Transnational Urbanism of Paris: An Interview With Assistant Mayor Jean-Louis Missika

In the past century, the rise of globalism, of relatively cheap international transport, and above all, of the "world city" has fundamentally changed the way we think about citizenship and the nation state. To accommodate that change, we have also had to invent a new kind of "Transnational Urbanism": at the more esoteric end of this scale are ideas such as JG Ballard's "city of the 21st century," a geographically scattered "city" made up of the interconnected no-man's-land of international airports, which was recently exemplified by Eduardo Cassina and Liva Dudareva's hypothetical proposal for Moscow's Central Business district. At the other end of the scale are pragmatic choices that must be made by cities such as New York, London and Hong Kong that truly affect the lives of people not just living in the city, but around the world.

To probe this topic, MONU Magazine has dedicated their latest issue to the topic of Transnational Urbanism. In this extract from the magazine, MONU's Bernd Upmeyer and Beatriz Ramo interview French sociologist and Assistant Mayor of Paris Jean-Louis Missika to discover how the city is positioning itself as a 21st century global city, and how it is absorbing and adopting change in everything from the creative class to smart cities and 3D Printing.

Map of Paris with Montreuil in the east and Saint-Denis in the north. Image © City of Paris Aerial view of Ivry Bercy. Image © City of Paris Interior of the incubator in Halle Freyssinet in the 13th arrondissement in Paris. Image © City of Paris Aerial view of Ivry Choisy. Image © City of Paris

Elderly Residential Home / Atelier Zündel Cristea

  • 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
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Sergio Grazia

© Sergio Grazia © Sergio Grazia © Sergio Grazia © Sergio Grazia

Rue du Charolais / Eva Samuel

© Clément Guillaume © Clément Guillaume © Clément Guillaume © Clément Guillaume

Passage de Melun / Gaëtan Le Penhuel Architecture

© Sergio Grazia © Sergio Grazia © Sergio Grazia © Sergio Grazia

Anne Démians Wins Competition to Renovate France's Nobel School

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.

Mixed Use 107 Apartement Units / Nunc Architectes

  • 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
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Luc Boegly

© Luc Boegly © Luc Boegly © Luc Boegly © Luc Boegly

The Architectural Lab: A History Of World Expos

The Universal Exposition of 1889. Image © Wikimedia Commons
The Universal Exposition of 1889. Image © Wikimedia Commons

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.

1964 New York World’s Fair . Image via People for the Pavillion website Buckminster Fuller's Dome. Image © Flickr user abdallahh Barcelona Pavilion. Image © Gili Merin Kiyonari Kikutake's Landmark Tower

30m2 Flat in Paris / Richard Guilbault

  • Architects: Richard Guilbault
  • Location: 75018 Paris, France
  • Area: 30.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Meero

© Meero © Meero © Meero © Meero

Jean Nouvel Loses Court Case Over Philharmonie de Paris

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."

Neker Enfants Malades Hospital / Philippe Gazeau

  • Architects: Philippe Gazeau
  • Location: 149 Rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France
  • Commissioned Architect: Philippe Gazeau
  • Project Director: Jacques Forté
  • Work Director: Michel Delamotte
  • Area: 60000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Philippe Ruault

© Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault

Sou Fujimoto-Led Team Selected to Design Ecole Polytechnique Learning Centre in Paris

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).

Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects, Manal Rachdi OXO Architects and Nicolas Laisné Associates

Home Renovation / Julien Joly Architecture

© Julien Fernandez © Julien Fernandez © Julien Fernandez © Julien Fernandez

Rue Du Chateau Des Rentiers’ Housing / Explorations Architecture

  • Architects: Explorations Architecture
  • Location: Rue du Château des Rentiers, 75013 Paris, France
  • Design Team: Explorations architecture + Integrale 4 engineers + ETB Antonelli engineers
  • Area: 1400.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Michel Denancé

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé

French Artist Levalet Inks Imaginary Scenes onto Parisian Buildings

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.”

See a selection of Levalet’s work after the break and check out his personal website and Facebook page to learn more.

Minotaure. Image © Levalet Energy drink. Image © Levalet Pastorale. Image © Levalet Portes ouvertes. Image © Levalet

Jean Nouvel Seeks Legal Action to Distance Himself from Philharmonie de Paris

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. 

What Makes An Attractive City? Try These 6 Points.

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. 

40 Housing Units / LAN Architecture

© Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo © Julien Lanoo