In November 2020, AA celebrates its 90th anniversary: 90 years of debates, investigations, 90 years of paper, graphic design, photography and drawing – 90 years of architecture which are honored in this issue No.439, through a selection of archives, as many gems making this international magazine so special. On this occasion, the report focuses on Paris and a selection of the French capital iconic projects, which have marked both the 20th century and AA’s pages.
The profile is dedicated to a young and prodigy architect, Jean Nouvel, who’s carreer has always been a focus for AA. The magazine has indeed recorded all of his endeavours in the French capital. Looking back on Paris’ evolution during the 20th century also means recalling extraordinary projects as Pierre Chareau’s Glass House, Bernard Zehrfuss’ Unesco building, Émile Aillaud’s residential “cloud” towers — and also many historical competitions such as the one for the Parc de La Villette or the counter-competition for the Paris Halles, a “pirate” operation which made quite a stir back then. AA’s pages are of the few to have recorded this debate. The “Design” section reproduces a text by Mallet-Stevens, founder with Le Corbusier, Jean Prouvé, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand of the Union des Artistes Modernes, remining that the magazine has always acted as a mouthpiece for all forms of creation.
To celebrate its exceptional anniversary, AA’s team has invited a few contemporary architects to share their favorite issue. These stories offer a panorama of AA’s various lives and the different commitments the magazine has supported since its creation in 1930 by André Bloc.
NEWS BACK THEN
Exhibitions in 1968, the AA chair, Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in 1969, “Does the commercial vernacular have a soul?” by Marc Emery, letter from Claude Parent to AA in 2014, drawings and buildings…
History: AA, Story and Histories, by Anastasia de Villepin
Writings: Editorials, columns and reviews from the AA’s archives, byAndré Bloc, Le Corbusier, Marcel Lods, Bernard Huet, François Chaslin, Karen von Spreckelsen, Jean-Louis Cohen and Rem Koolhaas
Testimonies: Architects’ favourite AA issues, with contributions by Salima Naji, Manuel Núñez Yanowsky, Kengo Kuma, Manuelle Gautrand, Paolo Portoghesi, Guillaume Aubry, Yves Pasquet, Cyril Gauthier, Martha Thorne, Yung Ho Chang, Aldric Beckmann, Dominique Perrault, Pascale Dalix and Frédéric Chartier.
AA and Paris, 90 years of projects
Portrait: Jean Nouvel and Paris, by Jean-Louis Violeau
Design: The Union of Modern Artists
– Pierre Chareau et Bernard Bijvoet, la Maison de verre, 7e arrondissement, 1932, by Andrew Ayers
– Bernard Zehrfuss, Marcel Breuer, Pier Luigi Nervi, Maison de l’Unesco, 7e arrondissement, 1958
– Émile Aillaud, tours Nuages, Nanterre, 1981, by Dominique Renaud et Philippe Vignaud
– Les Halles counter-competition, 1980, interview with Françoise Fromont
– Competition for the La Villette park, 1983
The suburban school: a tale of unfortunate critical oversight, by Jean-Philippe Hugron
Utopia: Paris pondu !, by Jean-Philippe Hugron
TODAY AND YESTERDAY’S TRENDS
3 questions to…: Dijane Slavic, Architecture Media Manager, Jung