Day 5 – Walking Tour with Ivan took us through the new city fringe development centred around the biblioteque nationale by Perrot. The new development challenges the traditional Parisian urban design style with the precincts allotments defying traditional French master planning. It was refreshing to see how many up and coming architects are given the opportunity to realise substantial
works. In Europe and specifically Paris there is a culture of embracing emerging architects through competition to produce exciting developments.
A slip of the tongue by Eban pointed out one of Corb’s first works which took us briefly off course. The armee du salut was one of the first models of social housing (which subsequently informed later works) and to this day it continues in this function.
Another highlight was Perrot biblioteque, the sheer scale of the development was overwhelming, the immaculacy detailed building and plaza still retained a human scale possibly achieved through the texture and materiality.
A quick lunch break then saw us head to the Arab Institue by Nouvel. Despite a somewhat complex (broken) façade one of the most fascinating discoveries was the modular pattern derived from citrus groves which forms the basis of the plan and elevation.
The afternoon ended by visiting Studio Milou, one of the most serene studio spaces we have visited, with studios in Paris and Singapore they desire the firm as a quiet family. It was great to see the recurring theme of the grand staircase as a signature element. Check out their website!