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"Surprise Us!" City of Paris Invites Architects To Propose Innovative Urban Projects

The City of Paris has called upon the architects of the world to propose "innovative urban projects" to reimagine the city's urban future. As the first competition of its kind in the world, Mayor Anne Hidalgo and her Deputy, Jean-Louis Missika, will "select and implement the new forms of buildings that will shape the future of Paris," putting innovation at the top of the criteria. Offering 23 sites, located in the centre of Paris and on the peripheries, the City is convinced that "the challenges faced by the world can be addressed through local answers." According to the Mayor, "from today, world creators are given carte blanche to reinvent the ways of living, working and trading in Paris." "Surprise us!"

Cultural and Sports Center / BRUTHER

  • Architects: BRUTHER
  • Location: Saint Blaise, 75020 Paris, France
  • Partenaires: Altia, Batiserf, Michel Forgue, Louis Choulet
  • Area: 1300.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Courtesy of BRUTHER

Courtesy of BRUTHER Courtesy of BRUTHER Courtesy of BRUTHER Courtesy of BRUTHER

Diller Scofidio + Renfro's "Musings on a Glass Box" Opens in Paris

In celebration of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain’s 30th anniversary, Diller Scofidio + Renfro has installed an immersive exhibition that encourages visitors to experience the Jean Nouvel-designed, glass and steel museum building in an entirely new way. 

“The Fondation Cartier building designed by Jean Nouvel will be used as raw material for their work, a first in the history of the institution. Musings on a Glass Box is a complex work occupying the entire ground floor of the Fondation Cartier, where a disturbance in the ceiling will trigger a surprising reaction. The result is an immersive environment, including an integral acoustic component by American composer David Lang and sound designer Jody Elff, that works with the building’s architecture to raise questions about transparency, perception, and one’s relation to space.”

A statement from Diller Scofidio + Renfro, after the break.

Video: French Cities Come to Life in Mayeul Akpovi's Time-Lapse Movies

These mesmerizing time-lapse videos by photographer Mayeul Akpovi allow you to see several French cities like never before. Combined with captivating soundtracks, the videos show the architecture of ParisMarseille and Lyon throughout the day with changing light and varying levels of activity. Above, Part I of Paris in Motion displays shots of clouds moving across the sky, reflections on the Le Grande LouvreLa Grande Arche. Check out the remaining six videos after the break.

Paris- Quai de l'Oise / Agence VEA – Architects

  • Architects: Agence VEA – Architects
  • Location: 19th arrondissement, Paris, France
  • Architect in Charge: Julien FORTIER-DURAND
  • Design Team: Antoine CASANOVA, Pauline CHASLES and Bertrand EMGOUE
  • Technical Design Office: CTH
  • Area: 1100.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Sergio Grazia

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

Sou Fujimoto Constructs Inhabitable Nomadic Structure for Parisian Art Fair

Over the weekend, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto exhibited an inhabitable sculpture of stacked and suspended aluminum cubes as part of the FIAC art fair in the Parisian Jardins des Tuileries’ gardens. The installation, “Many Small Cubes” is his first project in Paris and was commissioned by the Philippe Gravier art gallery as an exploration of nomadic structures and Sou Fujimoto’s concept of bringing architecture closer to nature. 

"The floating masses of Many Small Cubes creates a new experience of space, a rhythm of flickering shadows and lights like the sun filtering through leafy trees,” described Sou Fujimoto.

Strato Office Block / Hardel et Le Bihan Architectes

© Vincent Fillon © Vincent Fillon © Vincent Fillon © Vincent Fillon

Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris: The Critics Respond

The people behind Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton (FLV) in Paris, which is set to officially open on the 27th October 2014, recently invited a band of architecture critics to take a look around and pen their thoughts. Gehry's bold approach to architectural form, most evident in buildings like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, matches the foundation's aim to "promote and support contemporary and artistic creation" in France. According to their website, they in particular embody "a passion for artistic freedom." How, then, has the enormous sailed structure, challenged by local opposition from the outset, settled into its Parisian parkland surroundings?

See what The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright, The Observer's Rowan Moore, Vanity Fair's Paul Goldberger, The LA Times' Christopher Hawthorne, as well as the Architectural Digests' Mayer Rus, had to say about Gehry's latest completed building after the break.

© Todd Eberle © Todd Eberle © Todd Eberle © Todd Eberle

Preserving a Place for Protest in Paris

Following a three-year redesign, the Place de la République in Paris reopened this year, welcoming back the regular organized protests that make it one of the most important public spaces in Paris. For the designers of the space, TVK agency, it was important not to infringe on what many Parisians consider their inalienable right to protest - however a question remained over how the square could be more amenable to other uses at the same time. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Place for Protest," Veronique Vienne explores how TVK agency allowed Parisians to have their cake and let them eat it too.

In Paris, rituals of political discontent are traditionally celebrated on Place de la République. It is a favorite kick-off point for the countless marches that define democracy in the French capital. But before taking to the street in a slow-moving procession, crowds block traffic all around the esplanade, creating a gridlock that can cripple the city from Sacré Coeur to the Opéra. Meanwhile, citizens get to unfurl banners and shout slogans. It’s legal, good, clean fun.

Well, no more. 

Fondation Louis Vuitton / Gehry Partners

  • Architects: Gehry Partners
  • Location: Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris, France
  • Design Partner: Frank Gehry
  • Area: 11700.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan, Todd Eberle

© Todd Eberle © Todd Eberle © Todd Eberle © Todd Eberle

Interactive Infographic Tracks the Growth of the World's Megacities

With more than 7 billion people now alive, the greatest population growth over the last century has occurred in urban areas. Now, a new series of interactive maps entitled "The Age of Megacities" and developed by software company ESRI allows us to visualize these dramatic effects and see just how this growth has shaped the geography of 10 of the world’s 28 megacities. Defined as areas with continuous urban development of over 10 million people, the number of megacities in the world is expected to increase, and while Tokyo still tops the list as the world’s largest megacity, other cities throughout Asia are quickly catching up. Find out more after the break.

Paris Zoological Park / Bernard Tschumi Urbanists Architects + Veronique Descharrieres

  • Architects: Bernard Tschumi, Veronique Descharrieres
  • Location: 53 Avenue de Saint-Maurice, 75012 Paris, France
  • Research Adviser: Mikaël Mugnier (Landscape architect)
  • Project Manager: Camille Piot (Architect) and Renaud Riboulet (Landscape architect)
  • Landscape Architects: Atelier Jacqueline Osty
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Claud Cieutat, Martin Argyroglo, Mikaël Mugnier

© Martin Argyroglo © Martin Argyroglo © Martin Argyroglo © Martin Argyroglo

The Parisian Hôtel Particulier in Drawings

Starting October 18th, the Tchoban Foundation will be showing 65 art works of Hôtel particulier buildings – prestigious town houses, which were built in the first part of the 18th century and characterize Parisian architecture until today - in the exhibition “Lʼhôtel particulier à Paris.” After Sergei Tchoban, architect and founder of the Tchoban Foundation for Architectural Drawing, showed his collection of 24 drawings at the École des Beaux-Arts in 2011 with the exhibition “À la source de l’ Antique. La collection de Sergei Tchoban”, the two institutions now continue their collaboration, this time with a selection of works from Paris that will be displayed in Berlin. 

Apartment in Rue de Lille / spamroom

  • Architects: spamroom
  • Location: Rue de Lille, 75007 Paris, France
  • Collaborator: LEAinvent
  • Area: 100.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Martin Argyroglo

© Martin Argyroglo © Martin Argyroglo © Martin Argyroglo © Martin Argyroglo

Le Marais Social Housing and Offices / Atelier du Pont

  • Architects: Atelier du Pont
  • Location: 25 Rue Michel le Comte, 75003 Paris, France
  • 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

© Frédéric Delangle © Frédéric Delangle © Frédéric Delangle © Frédéric Delangle

UNIQLO Le Marais / Wonderwall

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

© Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow

Frank Gehry's "Haute Couture" Art Gallery for the Fondation Louis Vuitton

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 Frank Gehry 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.