Of the Pritzker Prize’s illustrious list of laureates, the 1994 winner Christian de Portzamparc is perhaps the least covered by the media. However, this relatively low profile belies the subtle and insightful understanding of architectural and urban issues that in many ways puts him decades ahead of the curve – with the sociologically-led principles he has been developing since the early 1980s now becoming widely popular in architectural circles. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky’s “City of Ideas” column, Portzamparc explains the journey that led to this unique take on architecture. Christian de Portzamparc: …Architecture often comes out of a controversial matter, drawing. In the 60s and 70s, we were contesting the drawing. I went to the Beaux-Arts school here in Paris, in which drawing was an end in itself. But in the Modern teaching to draw was viewed as dangerous, meaning to be absorbed and seduced by the quality of the drawing itself. I was thinking and drawing at the same time. In fact, a drawing may come before a particular imaginative idea sparks.
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