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Christian de Portzamparc


Christian de Portzamparc: “No One But an Architect Can Solve the Problems of the Contemporary City”

08:30 - 7 July, 2017
Christian de Portzamparc: “No One But an Architect Can Solve the Problems of the Contemporary City”, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Luxembourg, 2005. Image © Wade Zimmerman
Luxembourg Philharmonie, Luxembourg, 2005. Image © Wade Zimmerman

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.

Paris Opera Ballet School, Nanterre, 1987. Image © Nicolas Borel Credit Lyonnais Tower, Lille, 1995. Image © Wade Zimmerman Cidade das Artes, Rio de Janeiro, 2013. Image © Hufton + Crow Suzhou Cultural Center Proposal, Suzhou, 2017. Image © Christian de Portzamparc + 69

Spotlight: Christian de Portzamparc

07:00 - 5 May, 2017
Spotlight: Christian de Portzamparc, Cidade das Artes, Rio de Janerio. Image © Nelson Kon
Cidade das Artes, Rio de Janerio. Image © Nelson Kon

Born on the 5th of May 1944 in what was at the time the French Protectorate of Morocco, French architect Christian de Portzamparc had doubts about continuing with architecture while studying in the 1960s, questioning modernist ideals and the discipline's lack of freedom compared to art. Instead, he spent a decade attempting to understand the role of architecture, before returning triumphantly with a new model of iterative urban design that emphasized open neighborhoods based around landmark "poles of attraction" and a varied series of high-profile commissions that combine a sense of purpose and place.

The French Embassay, Berlin. Image © <a href=',_Mitte,_Pariser_Platz,_Botschaft_Frankreich.jpg'>Wikimedia user Jörg Zägel</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> Philharmonie Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Image © <a href=''>Flickr user borkurdotnet</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> Chateau Cheval Blanc Winer, Saint-Émilion. Image © Erik Saillet La  Musée Hergé, Louvain-la-Neuve. Image © Nicolas Borel + 16

Jean Nouvel, Foster + Partners Among 7 Architects to Design Towers for Paris' La Défense District

12:00 - 1 March, 2017
Jean Nouvel, Foster + Partners Among 7 Architects to Design Towers for Paris' La Défense District, Courtesy of Paris La Défense
Courtesy of Paris La Défense

The La Défense district of Paris has announced the proposal of seven new skyscrapers by top architects including Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Foster + Partners and Christian de Portzamparc in an attempt to lure business to the city during a time of economic upheaval in the European markets.

All planned for completion no later than 2022, the new buildings would target international businessmen and researchers, especially those displaced following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

House of Dior Seoul / Christian de Portzamparc

19:00 - 25 October, 2015
House of Dior Seoul / Christian de Portzamparc, © Nicolás Borel
© Nicolás Borel

© Nicolás Borel © Nicolás Borel © Nicolás Borel © Nicolás Borel + 53

Christian de Portzamparc’s House of Dior in Seoul Mirrors Ethereal Clothing Designs

06:00 - 31 August, 2015

Architect Christian de Portzamparc has completed construction on the new House of Dior in Seoul, South Korea. The building, which houses designs by Christian Dior, is based off of watercolor paintings and the concept of experimentation with light and shadows.

Chateau Cheval Blanc Winer / Christian de Portzamparc

01:00 - 9 December, 2013
© Erik Saillet
© Erik Saillet

© Erik Saillet © Erik Saillet © Max Botton © Erik Saillet + 20

Cidade Das Artes / Christian de Portzamparc

01:00 - 6 December, 2013
© Nelson Kon
© Nelson Kon

© Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon © Nelson Kon + 48

Design Unveiled for the Broad Museum by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

15:11 - 6 January, 2011
Courtesy of Diller Scofidio+Renfro
Courtesy of Diller Scofidio+Renfro

If you are a regular ArchDaily reader you know that we have been providing ongoing coverage of Eli Broad’s Broad Museum in Los Angeles. Nearly 120,000 sqf and $130 million dollars, invitations were given to six top architects to submit designs for the new museum. Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, Christian de Portzamparc, Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Foreign Office Architects competed and in August we informed you that Diller Scofidio + Renfro garnered the commission.

Today, the design for the Broad Museum has been released. Situated adjacent to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and Arata Isozaki’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the museum has become a key part of the Grand Avenue redevelopment project that has been losing steam.

Midtown Skyscrapper / Christian de Portzamparc

12:00 - 27 May, 2010

Being awarded the Pritzker means you’ve hit it big.  Having that ribbon placed around your neck proves you’re top dog in the architecture world and you’ve practically become a household name….doesn’t it?  While that may seem that case for Gehry and Hadid, even Piano and Meier, the Pritzker’s seventeenth honoree, (France’s first laureate, in fact) Christian de Portzamparc sometimes feels forgotten.

Musée Hergé / Christian de Portzamparc

12:00 - 1 July, 2009

After two years of construction, the Musée Hergé designed by Christian de Portzamparc is complete.  Situated in a forest and connected by a footbridge to Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, the museum is dedicated to Belgian artist and Tintin author Hergé.  The museum highlights Hergé’s life and works through cultural facilities, permanent and temporary exhibition areas, and a video projection room.

Images and more about the museum after the break.

Winner announced for the Tour La Signal at La Defense, Paris: Ateliers Jean Nouvel

10:00 - 3 June, 2008

The La Defense is a 160 ha business district in the west of Paris, currently under a renewal plan to strengthen its place among the great international business districts. The plan is managed by the EPAD (The Public Establishment for Installation of La Défense), an organization formed by local authorities, government and neighbors focused on developing the La Defense for the best interests of its 20.000 residents and 150.000 inhabitants in floating population.

The renewal includes several high rise sustainable towers. One of this towers, the Tour Signal, entered an international closed competition for teams of architects/investors/developers, on which EPAD didn’t impose a site. The candidates were thus able to choose their sites either from among the entrances to the business district (South Gate and West Gate), either from sites subject to demolition operations. The Tour Signal will thus endow the business district with a new landmark in 2013.

The finalists for this project were Jacques Ferrier Architectures, Foster + Partners Ltd, Studio Libeskind Architect, Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Wilmotte et Associes SA.

And a few days ago, the winner was announced: Ateliers Jean Nouvel, project shown on the video above.

More pictures of the Jean Nouvel proposal, and the rest of the candidates/finalists after the jump.