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Christian De Portzamparc (FR)

own work

In only 18 years, De Portzamparc changed considerably, project to project, the architectural landscape in France. The 45-year-old architect, who is currently the resurrecting the impressive Cité de la musique at La Villette (Paris) is now internationally recognized as one of the great post-war architecture.

(autotranslated) Born in 1944, The Partzamparc started his career as an architect in 1971 with a water tower in Marne-La-Vallée. A quadrangular open torenconstruktie around which a tracery in zigguratvorm the basis for lush vegetation. A green tower of Babal, a modern monument to a new city. “Toute architecture est pour moi la recherce d’une nouvelle fusion entre et symbolique utilitarian.” Even at this initial project lead this merger between symbolism and the utilitarian to a architektuurparel. In the race for a housing complex in la Roquette (1974) introduced a De Portzamparc in the new construction projects in France lost urbanity. A rectangular urban space. The archetype of the square surrounded by historic façades and raised “promenade”

In 1975 he won the competition for the Rue des Hautes Formes in Paris, a realization that he put his stamp on the urban thinking in Europe. For the first time the stereotypical isolated HLM block is replaced by an urban area surrounded by architekturaal fragmented environment. An environment with an authentic quality of life that one until then forgives in the new building in Paris and was looking elsewhere. In competitions for Orleans (1976), for the Halles in Paris (1979), around the Lac to Engine (1981) and the Marne La Vallée (1982) built “Le Crescent”, he continues on this urban theme. In 1981 he again won a competition for the precautionary de Musique, coupled with sheltered housing in the rue Jean niot Paris. After its construction architectuurkritikus François Chaslin wrote on this subject: “Ce bâtiment est sans contexte Corbusier Le plus beau qu’on a vue depuis à Paris … … depuis depuis belle Lurette”

The bright white buildings illustrate the very private process of the Portzamparc. The building program will decompose into its elements and worked apart, and reassembled into autonomous fragments of architecture. Cylinders, cubes, porches, frontons columns … almost a polyphonic play of several volumes in a surprisingly coherent harmony and in a subtle dialogue with the environment. This dialogue with the environment is also present in his fill-building in the rue du Château des Rent Irish (1982). In both buildings, he takes the banal environment architecture as a starting point and he designs a switch that makes the site rise above the banal. The city as a processus of constant innovation and incompleteness. Its gorgeous design competition for the new Opera in Paris (1983) with its mobile wings façade egg-so-after not winning. In the same year, however, he is a laureate of the Ecole de Danse de l’Opéra de Paris. The architecture of the Portzamparc peaked here. The fragmented, strung together dynamically to create shapes and spaces in a wordless poetry clear what the Portzamparc ie “Nous pouvons retrouver l’émotion spatial”.

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The Cité de la Musique (awarded project of the architectural competition in 1984) currently in La Villette is under construction, is a “city” which is dedicated to the music … and the “plaisir d’architecture”. It shows a brilliant synthesis of various themes that dominate the oeuvre of De Portzamparc. The merger between the symbolism and the utilitarian “Nous pouvons détourner l’utile” The fragmentation in antagonistic forms and spaces, regrouping in non -. Hierarchical but dynamic contexts. It is a poetic architecture where one must wander, that can not be caught at a glance. … “Voila l’Acceleration Space, sa vision hiérarchique non plus mais dynamique, Cinématographique …” … architecture as smooth music. The Cité de la musique, an architectural symphony, but even in the newly opened Café de Beaubourg (which he also designed the furniture) and one wonders sometimes how beautiful even be a café. De Portzamparc likes to quote the Renaissance architect Philibert de l’Orne: “le but de l’architecture est de la calmer melancholy”. The consolation of architecture. Rarely does this in contemporary architecture as strong as reflected by De Portzamparc.

Marc Felix

Christian De Portzamparc 1984, 2nd edition
monograph electa Moniteur, Institut Français d’architecture
Entretien avec et François Olivier Chaslin (1984)

_uit Standard (June 10, 1989) buildings are symbols _
Space and movement in a human-friendly new architectural landscape.

Oostende / Paris – In a bustling Paris, which with its numerous contemporary projects as the world center of innovative architecture is considered Christian de Portzamparc feel at home. As one of the great ones of the post-war architecture he shook interlacing the architectural landscape of France. Christian de Portzamparc took space and movement in a people-friendly architecture that he himself as an eternal search for a merger between symbolic and utilitarian designates. Insiders consider the Parisian and contemporary Le Corbusier.
About his work was Christian de Portzamparc at the invitation of the architectural association “Archipelago” for more than two hours of enthralling, fascinating and begeesterend speak at Desender Interior Design at the Rogierlaan Ostend. But not only the architects among the more than 300 attendees were captivated by de Portzamparc, his theories and his oeuvre. Graphic and other artists saw in his architectural achievements more than symbolism. Christian de Portzamparc studied architecture at the national high school for the arts in Paris. Ex “mao” militant de Portzamparc experiencing its own “May 1968” in the miserable Puerto Rican neighborhoods of New York. Back in Paris, he makes ends up in a psycho-sociological research team that a study of living and lifestyles in residential areas. “Especially the space and the light that came as essential to the fore. But how to create space in a whole that is both small and large?” de Portzamparc said.

Only in 1971, the outside world was first confronted with the Portzamparc. Marne-La-Vallee he builds a water tower. It is an open quadrangular tower construction that he middle leg down an intersection. “For residents of the living center which had a water tower herkennigspunt form a recognizable symbol.” De Portzamparc created a green tower of Babel, a modern monument to a new city. “When I joined in 1974 to an architectural competition to design a residential complex on the relatively narrow space once occupied by the prison of La Roquette could I first introduce the lost urbanity in a new project” knew de Portzamparc who a year later vivacity could indulge in the construction of a group of blocks in the rue des Hautes Formes in Paris. A realization that de Portzamparc put his stamp on the urban thinking in Europe. He replaces the stereotypical, say equals ugly HLM block (Habit Arion à Loyer Modéré) by a trapezoidal fragmented environment. “With a game of open spaces and angles at the same time I gave the residents the impression of cosiness inside and outside unsurpassed views towards the city.” De Portzamparc knew many as 110 residential units in narrow, bringing tall buildings under. The start of further dialogue with the surroundings where the street was a void. A space that is open to pedestrians and simultaneously represents a breath of fresh air between the various buildings of a whole.

For Portzamparc keep movement and space is essential. In all his designs come cylinders, cubes, porticos, pediments and columns in a hurry polyphonic play of several volumes together surprising. His design for the “Opéra de la Bastille” is not retained. He gets to build the dance school of the Paris Opera in Nanterre. The fragmented, dynamic strung together rooms provide an architectural poetry in which the children who inhabit the building are central. “I always kept in mind the rhythm of life of the students to develop the concept.”

Highlights so far from de Portzamparc’s work is the “Cité de la Musique” which is currently in La Villette (Paris) is developed. One faces a synthesis of various themes that dominate the work of the Portzamparc. Where a concert hall, shopping arcades, accommodation areas and offices were incorporated into one whole de Portzamparc designed a whole in the form of a sol-key. In height ranging from 3 m to 25 m is the consistency of spaces and forms dominated by sinusoids poetic architecture, an architecture as smooth music … Rarely has the architecture is as strong as reflected by de Portzamparc. In the recently opened “Café Beaubourg” one is surprised how even pretty can be a café. De Portzamparc contented himself not only to make plans for it. The artist in the soul architect also designed the furniture there. The elegance of the work of de Portzamparc is as natural as his complicated name betrays its Breton noble origin. However de Portzamparc is not a prisoner of the fashion in which the artist is no longer possible to bend themselves to the needs of reality. “My architecture is a public art which present a degree of lascivious in the form of ranges delineated areas will be live at all times.”

Eddy Surmont



Fr 09 June 1989 20:30


Desender Interieur Design
8400 Oostende