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

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

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
© Julien Attard
  • Architects: h2o architectes
  • Location: 5 Rue de l'Épée de Bois, 75005 Paris, France
  • Area: 300.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Julien Attard

© Julien Attard © Julien Attard © Julien Attard © Julien Attard

The Paris Debate: Must Preservation Inhibit Urban Renewal?

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
© 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
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Christophe Valtin, Patrick H. Muller

© Christophe Valtin © Patrick H. Muller © Patrick H. Muller © Patrick H. Muller

Manuelle Gautrand to Revamp Paris' Alésia Cinema with Hundreds of LED "Pixels"

Facade Closeup. Image © KDSL
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.

The Facade at Night. Image © KDSL Exterior Facade. Image © KDSL Seating Outside the Movie Theater Proper. Image © KDSL Upper Floors of the Atrium. Image © KDSL

Le Clos Y / Dai Sugasawa

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

© Antoine DUHAMEL © Antoine DUHAMEL © Antoine DUHAMEL © Antoine DUHAMEL

Welfare Centre for children and teenagers in Paris / Marjan Hessamfar & Joe Verons architectes associes

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

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever

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 Glasgow 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.

10 Fires That Changed Architecture Forever The Hagia Sophia. Image © Flickr CC User Collin Key The Reichstag. Image © Flickr CC User Sebastian Niedlich Chicago. Image © Flickr CC User Brad Wilke

The Victor Gelez Community Centre / Dumont Legrand Architects

© Thomas Lannes © Thomas Lannes © Thomas Lannes © Thomas Lannes

ZAC Boucicaut / Michel Guthmann

  • Architects: Michel Guthmann
  • Location: 81 Rue des Cévennes, 75015 Paris, France
  • Design Team: Michel Stéphanie Appert, Olivier Barthe, Valentin Bourdon, Bénédicte Caspar, Amélie Jonville, Céline Motte-Moitroux, Samuel Reist, Oona Savransky
  • Area: 6500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Michel Guthmann, Michel Denancé , Takuji Shimmura

© Michel Denancé © Takuji Shimmura © Michel Denancé © Takuji Shimmura

Rare Footage of Le Corbusier Discussing his Work, Poetry & the "Ideal City"

Check out this rare footage that captures Le Corbusier as a “young man of 71-years-old” surrounded by paintings and discussing his work, poetry and the "ideal city" within his 1933, self-designed Paris flat. 

Artist Fills Paris' Negative Space with Whimsical Illustrations

When you're surrounded by buildings on all sides, what do you see? In his SkyArt series, French artist Lamadieu Thomas gives us his answer. He takes claustrophobia-inducing photographs of urban landscapes through a fish-eye lens, framing the sky with rooftops and filling the negative space with playful illustrations. Thomas describes his whimsical approach to art as an attempt to show "what we can construct with a boundless imagination" and "a different perception of urban architecture and the everyday environment around us." To see more from the collection, continue after the break.

© Lamadieu Thomas © Lamadieu Thomas © Lamadieu Thomas © Lamadieu Thomas

Renovated Parisian flat / JKLN

  • Architects: JKLN
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Architect In Charge: Jasmine Kenniche Le Nouëne Feat. Gaël Le Nouëne
  • Construction: ASI
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Courtesy of JKLN

Courtesy of JKLN Courtesy of JKLN Courtesy of JKLN Courtesy of JKLN

VIDEO: Paris in Motion

In this four-part, stop-motion series, Mayeul Akpovi presents a new perspective on the City of Lights. Filmed with manual camera movements and composed of more than 30,000 photographs, the videos enable a unique, otherwise-unattainable experience of Paris’ sleepless urban spaces by ceaselessly attenuating the passage of time. 

Watch part one (above), and continue after the break for the remaining series...

Residence Alice Guy / ADE architectes - David Elalouf & Guillaume Prognon

© Pauline Turmel © Pauline Turmel © Pauline Turmel © Pauline Turmel

Social Housing / Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

  • Architects: Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
  • Location: Passage des Patriarches, 75005 Paris, France
  • Architect In Charge: A. Becker, J. Paulré, P. Pflughaupt
  • Area: 1500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: 11H45

© 11H45 © 11H45 © 11H45 © 11H45