Out since March 18th 2016, issue 411 of L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui focuses on how current climate challenges are redefining architecture and cities. AA’s pages were rearranged to pay tribute to French architect Claude Parent, who died on February 27th 2016; and praise this free-shooter and visionary by inviting a few of his friends and admirers to share their memories.
As a committed architect, Claude Parent had a deep desire to question common beliefs. Aware of the changes of his time, he would surely have expressed himself on the report of this issue devoted to climate architecture. Because this topic is also a battlefield – the current ecological crisis mobilizing all the players in the construction field, architects first. Architecture did not wait for international summits as COP21 or other tenders for innovative projects to develop sustainable solutions: from the Bingie House by Glenn Murcutt in Australia to the latest “self-regulated” housing in Mulhouse by Lacaton & Vassal, the projects presented in this 411 issue show the urgent need to design a “situated” architecture. Building in harmony with the environment implies knowing its evolutions and the irremediable consequences of the human footprint. In this respect, articles by John Gendall on urban heat islands and Catherine Sabbah on energy transition, remind us of the urgency faced by our cities. Presenting technical innovations in sustainable development, the “Carnet de Tendances” explores intelligent solutions provided by construction experts.
As an introduction to “Regards”, the magazine’s section dedicated to other viewpoints, Frédéric Gilli, economist and geographer, takes a look at the Grand Paris Metropolis, which became an institutional reality in January 2016. Urban mutations are also the subject of the “Retour” section, which recounts the “embellishment” policy carried out by the State in Skopje, in Macedonia, a city more and more disguised with incongruous classical finery. Working on the urban space is the Bouroullec brothers’ new ambition, with no less than four exhibitions in the city of Rennes this year. “Design” reviews the approach of these internationally known designers. Installation becomes, in the hands of artists like Anselm Kiefer and Thomas Hirschhorn, more of a strategy than a simple plastic work, as shown in the “Art” section.
Oblique architecture, climate architecture, cities and systems: so many strategies and topics to (re)discover in AA’s 411 issue, at newstands from March 18th 2016.