Public Lecture: Planning and designing Greater Paris in the 21st century

Lecture

B117 Theatre, Basement, Melbourne School of Design

Image: RUR Architecture DPC

The articulation of the city of Paris and its surrounding region has been a difficult issue ever since the middle of the 19th century. Class contrapositions and political conflicts have long prevented the development of any comprehensive metropolitan strategies.

A significant turning point was the closed competition launched in 2007 by the then president Nicolas Sarkozy with the goal of defining powerful projects around the central city. Astutely misunderstanding his requests, dozens of architects, from Yves Lion to Jean Nouvel, Richard Rogers and Bernardo Secchi, landscape designers and social scientists proposed in 2009, a series of innovative strategies, which are now slowly being implemented in several fragments of the region. On its own, the central municipality has also engaged in 2015 a program for the ‘reinvention’ of several key sites, while many new transit hubs emerge in the suburbs.

Against the threat faced by the French capital of becoming a vast open-air museum, the projects shaped in response to these policies shape a new creative scene, which will to be discussed in its many dimensions, from spectacular gestures to contextual designs.

This special public lecture will be introduced by Philip Goad, Professor of Architecture at the University of Melbourne.

About Jean-Louis Cohen

Trained as an architect and historian, Jean-Louis Cohen is the Sheldon H. Solow Chair for the History of Architecture at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, and a guest professor at the Collège de France. Specializing in modern architecture and city planning, his research has focused on the French, German and Soviet architectural avant-gardes, on colonial situations and on Paris planning history. He has published more than thirty books and curated numerous exhibitions at major institutions globally. In 2014 he received the special mention of the jury for his exhibit at French pavilion at the Venice International Architecture Biennale.