Jean Nouvel & Emmanuel Cattani
The phantom in the park. With its transparency. With its enclosure. Trees are visible behind the high glazed barrier, which has taken the place of a long opaque wall, brushing against their eight-meter high enclosure. The lone Chateaubriand Cedar rises up, framed by two screens which assert the entrance. The visitor passes beneath the cedar and sees the spectacle of the trees surrounding the glazed exhibition hall, also eight meters high, in a reading through the depth of the site.
In summer the huge sliding bays disappear and the hall transforms into the extension of the park, given rhythm by high posts.
The architecture is about lightness, with a refined framework of steel and glass. Architecture where the game consists in blurring the tangible boundaries of the building and rendering superfluous the reading of a solid volume amid poetics of fuzziness and effervescence. When virtuality is attacked by reality, architecture must more than ever have the courage to take on the image of contradiction.
Location: Paris, France
Type: Offices, Exhibition Hall, Cultural Centre
Habitable Area: 6’505 m²
Surface Area: 11’300 m²
Project Leader: Didier Brault
Graphic Design: Massimo Quendolo
CAD: Antoine Assi
Quantity Surveyor: Pascal Madinier
Engineers: Ove Arup & Partners (Structure) - Arnauld de Bussière et Associés (Façade)
Photography: Hisao Suzuki