Friday, May 04, 2007

after the villa Savoye

i'm already planning a 2008 trip out to Yvelines (not far from Paris), because a new house project is coming to this area...not a housing project (though several Paris suburbs are taking new steps on that, too). no, this is a sort of companion to the radical Modern villa built by Le Corbusier out in the same Yvelines area. the project is a brand new architectural prize, the Prix International D'Architecutre Durable, which plans to build a series of 21st century houses in the Seine Aval area--one per year from 2008 until 2058.

it's an exemplary idea but I'm always leary of houses that aren't meant to be lived in. Le Corbusier's 1930s villa Savoye is a masterpiece of modern architecture & exists as a sculptural example of what a building can do...but it was originally designed as a house, to be inhabited by Savoye and his wife. so while I like the principle of the prize, i'm more interested in finding out exactly what each house will be used for--and that apparently will be left up to the locality where each house is built.

once this year's winner is chosen, the first house of the project is due to be completed in fall '08 in Chanteloup-les-Vignes. it's slated to be a "house manifesto", open to visitors. and the shape of the house will very much depend on who wins--the first round of nominees includes Balkrishna Doshi, the Indian architect who once worked with Corbu, the French architect Francoise-Helene Jourda, and Wang Shu, the Chinese architect whose recent construction in Hangzhou used tiles from demolished buildings. we'll have to wait & see...

No comments: