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French: The Latest Architecture and News

Luminous, Transparent Mixed Use Tower Will Mark the Skyline of Saint-Malo, France

Located outside of Saint-Malo’s train station, this soaring 55-meter beacon building will establish itself as an entrance to the city. The Semaphore is the product of French architects a/LTA + Ateliers Laporte and holds a strong identity and concept in creating a dynamic, engaging environment while blending harmoniously into its surrounding environment.

Courtesy of a/LTA ArchitectsCourtesy of a/LTA ArchitectsCourtesy of a/LTA ArchitectsCourtesy of a/LTA Architects+ 33

URBAN AGENCY's Luxury Apartment Design "Twists" French Planning Law

Designed by URBAN AGENCY and BET Satge, Le Twist is set to be a series of 10 luxury apartments with a ground floor restaurant that opens onto a semi-public garden. Commissioned in 2013, the architects were asked to re-evaluate an existing proposal for Montpellier, France. By sliding and twisting each storey, the firm was able to "comply with and 'twist' French planning law," gaining an extra 40% of floor space.

French Wine Civilizations Museum / XTU Architects

The Bordeaux Wine Museum’s wooden structure has been completed, the first step in an ambitious project slated to open in 2016. Designed by XTU Architects, and situated along the coast of the river Garonne in Bordeaux, France, the museum aims to stand as a beacon and “guardian angel” against the skyline of the riverbank. Inspired by the timeless spirit of French wine, the building forms flow in a continuous space without corners, evoking the circular motion that awakens a wine before tasting.

Rendered Exterior View. Image Courtesy of XTU ArchitectsRendered Interior View. Image Courtesy of XTU ArchitectsRendered Interior View. Image Courtesy of XTU ArchitectsExterior Diagram. Image Courtesy of XTU Architects+ 14

Light Matters: Le Corbusier and the Trinity of Light

For his three sacred buildings, Le Corbusier has played masterfully with orientation, openings and textures to create kinetic architecture with daylight. His pilgrimage chapel at Ronchamp, the monastery of Sainte Marie de La Tourette, and the parish church of Saint-Pierre in Firminy reveal distinctive and individual approaches that each render contemplative spaces with light. In his book “Cosmos of Light: The Sacred Architecture of Le Corbusier,” Henry Plummer, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has analysed these projects with outstanding photographs taken over 40 years and brilliant writing.

Read on for more about how Le Corbusier created his cosmos of light.

Corridor to atrium cadenced with sunshine in late morning. Monastery of Sainte Marie de la Tourette, Éveux-sur-l’Arbresle, France. Image © Henry Plummer 2011Upward view into scoop at sunrise. Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France. Image © Henry Plummer 2011Golden light on altar wall. Church of Saint-Pierre, Firminy, France. Image © Henry Plummer 2011Upward view of fissure and brise-soleil, on overcast day. Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France. Image © Henry Plummer 2011+ 9

OUALALOU+CHOI Pitches Woven Tent Outside of Jean Novel’s Arab World Institute

In conjunction with the Contemporary Morocco exhibit (Le Maroc Contemporain) at the Jean Nouvel-designed Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, a giant tent has been constructed on the plaza in front of the building. Designed by Tarik Oualalou and Linna Choi of OUALALOU+CHOI, the tent harmonizes contemporary design and technical innovation with traditional fabrication methods. Constructed from more than 650-square-meters of camel and goat wool woven by female cooperatives in the Saharan desert, the tent serves as an urban landmark and a symbol for the Contemporary Morocco exhibit. The rhythm and scale of the tent’s silhouette renders a topographic dimension to the structure which pays homage to the nomadic traditions of southern Morocco.

BIG Wins Europa City Development in Paris

Danish architecture firm, BIG - led by Bjarke Ingels - has been announced as the winner of an international invited competition for the design of Europa City, a 800,000 square meter cultural, recreational and retail development in Triangle de Gonesse, France. Combining city development with an open landscape, Europa City creates a dynamic center of activity for visitors and residents, appealing to the variety of functions of city life. Europa City is situated along the route from Charles de Gaule Airport to Paris and has a wide range of programs that is part of a larger initiative to attract international tourism into the northern parts of Paris.

More on the project after the break...

AWP to announce masterplan for La Défense

La Défense, Paris’ major business district, is about to undergo a transformation with the help of Paris architecture firm AWP. AWP’s plan was presented to government agencies EPADESA and DEFACTO as well as local communities in November 2012, but will be released to the public for the first time in March. The proposed plan not only updates and adds to the current site: it rethinks and reevaluates what already exists. More on the plan after the break.