ArchiWEB Explorer: France

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Abandoned Grandeur: Documenting the Downfall of Luxurious Places

[ By SA Rogers in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

There’s something about the contrast of opulent ornamentation and expensive materials with rot and deterioration that makes luxury resorts and mansions some of the most fascinating abandonments. Someone once cared about these places so much, they invested untold sums of money and hours of labor into them, perhaps having their walls hand-painted with frescoes or calling in master craftspeople to apply the finishing touches.

But nothing lasts forever, and neglect has the same effect on high end structures as it does on those more humble. Different viewers may look at them with sadness or schadenfreude, thinking about the larger context of human impermanence or just the potential wasted, but either way, we can’t help but look.

Gallo-roman Museum Vesuna / Jean Nouvel

© Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault
  • Architects: Jean Nouvel
  • Location: Parc Gamenson, 30 Rue Bacharetie, 24000 Périgueux, France
  • Category: Museum
  • Area: 6900.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2003
  • Photographs: Philippe Ruault

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L'Atelier des Lumières / Atelier Silhouette Urbaine

© Culturespaces © Culturespaces
  • Architects: Atelier Silhouette Urbaine
  • Location: 38 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris, France
  • Category: Adaptive reuse
  • Team: CADMOS , Brizot-Masse Ingénierie, META Acoustique, Kerylos Intérieurs, CET Ingénierie
  • Area: 3300.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Culturespaces

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The Village / Gianni Ranaulo Design

© Marjorie Bruyere © Marjorie Bruyere
  • Architects: Gianni Ranaulo Design
  • Location: Parc du couvent, Avenue Steve Biko, 38090 Villefontaine, France
  • Category: Sustainability
  • Lead Architects: Gianni Ranaulo
  • Design Team: Irene Mennini, Matteo Alfonsi, Ludovico Laura, Aurélien Leriche, Ángel J. Sánchez, YunSil AHN, Klaudyna Stanek, Luca Bregni, Giacomo Termini, Judy Elkhatib, Ajmal Majeed
  • Area: 128000.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Marjorie Bruyere, Éric Heranval, Luc Boegly

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MVRDV to Transform Historic Palais du Commerce in Rennes

Shops. Image © ENGRAM Shops. Image © ENGRAM

MVRDV has won a competition to renovate and extend the Palais du Commerce in Rennes, France. Developed in collaboration with co-architects Bernard Desmoulin and developers Frey and Engie Avenue, the transformation of the historic landmark will “signify a renaissance for both the building and its surroundings.”

The MVRDV scheme will reactivate both the Place de la Republique and the Palais, turning a former public building into a centerpiece of the city’s main commercial street as was originally intended. While being respectful to the existing building, the MVRDV proposal adopts a critical approach to its drawbacks, such as transparency and accessibility.

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New Visitor Center of Cluny Museum / Bernard Desmoulin Architecte

© Michel DENANCE © Michel DENANCE

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Maison du projet / Carlos Arroyo

© Imagen Subliminal © Imagen Subliminal
  • Architects: Carlos Arroyo
  • Location: 151 Rue d'Oran, 59100 Roubaix, France
  • Category: Adaptive reuse
  • Architects In Charge: Carlos Arroyo, Hendrik Verlinden, Vanessa Cerezo, David Jiménez
  • Local Partner Architect: EKOA, Olivier Jost
  • Area: 700.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Imagen Subliminal

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Paul Virilio

Paul Virilio
Bunker Archeology . 2009 + DAILY DISH In Bunker Archeology, urban philosopher and cultural theorist Paul Virilio turns his attention–and camera–to the ominous yet strangely compelling German bunkers from WW II that lie abandoned on the coast of France. These ghostly reminders of destruction and oppression prompt Virilio to consider the nature of war and … Continue reading Paul Virilio

Craft Urban Ramp Creil / Espace Llibre

© Julien Falsimagne © Julien Falsimagne
  • Architects: Espace Llibre
  • Location: Creil, France
  • Category: Public Space
  • Project Management Team: Egis, Eurovia, Loiseleur, Marcantera, Wiffage Energy
  • Area: 1200.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Julien Falsimagne

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