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Atelier Christian De Portzamparc: The Latest Architecture and News

Spotlight: Christian de Portzamparc

04:30 - 5 May, 2019
Spotlight: Christian de Portzamparc, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Image © Wade Zimmerman
Philharmonie Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Image © Wade Zimmerman

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='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berlin,_Mitte,_Pariser_Platz,_Botschaft_Frankreich.jpg'>Wikimedia user Jörg Zägel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> Philharmonie Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/borkurdotnet/5696828844'>Flickr user borkurdotnet</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Chateau Cheval Blanc Winer, Saint-Émilion. Image © Erik Saillet La  Musée Hergé, Louvain-la-Neuve. Image © Nicolás Borel + 17

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

09:30 - 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