SOME/DINER 001 META/MORPHOSIS
James & Charlotte sincerely thank
yariv / florian / jérôme / béatrice / alexia / béatrice / anthony / cheng / monica / mwanga / wai ming / david / nathaniel / thomas / guillaume / olivier / adrien / albin / yoann / takami / nicole / gilles / pascale / eloïse / floriana / pouria - for their precious contributions to the launching of SOME/DINER.
patrice / catherine / sabrina / tariq / katharine / asa / karl / olivier / emmanuel / nicolas / david / violaine / yoann / adrien - for sharing this experience with them tonight.
When Bernard Arnault met Frank Gehry on the 10th of September 2001 to offer him the challenge of creating a flagship for culture under the name of Louis Vuitton Foundation, it was somehow prefigured that the face of the world had to change.
So did the face of New York. So did the face of Paris - being offered the ornament of a futuristic Melvillian opus. Thus when wandering around the maze of this monumental structure, one can dream he would cross Lewis Carroll passionately discussing with M.C. Escher.
Rekindling the aging area of Bois de Boulogne by mixing up culture and architecture in the swirls of a translucent shell, the space is dedicated to contemporary arts - a neo-legacy.
Genesis of an achieved utopia
In the twisting and turning of Frank Gehry’s inspiration was progressively
elaborated this architectural UFO. Conversely responding to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao by using the metal as a structure and the glass as an envelope,
it evokes the most picturesque adventures.
Gehry started his researches over a cubic building - very much classical rectangulary shape on pilotis - and the exhibition rooms renders very well the many steps of creation of his visions. Complex elaboration adaptating to the essence of the park in which it is located - a garden initiated by the man for the man. Artificial water point hosting this glass & concrete amphibious Moby Dick turned into a ship.
Giant of the most-advanced techniques
The apex of the project: when icebergs are adornments from inside a boat - and not natural ennemies coming from the darkest shorelines - the true felicity and longevity of the building are contained in its narrative & visual DNA. First made out of simple sheets of paper in the creative process, some of the most advanced models shown in Gehry’s exhibition room are modeled with 3D printing techniques.
The carcass of this mollusk with a hard shell is made of about 7000 glass
plaques also called glass veils - doubled with a tiny white spots serigraphy
inside to give it enough resistance as well as a pleasant natural lighting to the insides.
But behind techniques are also men - closing the loop of history - thanks to the fierce brains and labour forces of Gehry Partners’ based in Los Angeles - in a shed as an anthouse where the most brilliant experts are reunited to comply with a genius of Gehry’s kind.
Fine Arts in Contemporary
The Foundation welcomes an ensemble of 11 galleries, a studio, 4 main terraces, a library, a restaurant and a hi-tech auditorium. In between a selection of established pieces from Bernard Arnault’s collection - Gerhard Richter, Christian Boltanski, Ellsworth Kelly, Pierre Huyghes or Thomas Schütte - to a series of commissioned works - Olafur Eliasson’s Grotto, Taryn Simon, Cerith
Wyn Evans - the volumes enable a soft and pleasant wandering that enlights
the essence of the arts. Upcoming programmation of finest choices musics - classical to electro - to take place in the auditorium.
This is were the crossing starts - but one can only feel delighted by such a prowess. This is what can happen when two great men paths cross - Parisian are attributed a new vessel in town, an inescapable experience.
The Casa Solo Pezo is one of twelve holiday houses appointed to a repertoire of architects scrupulously curated by French developer Christian Bourdais. The Solo Houses project has been in motion as early as 2010 and; in a similar fashion to John Entenza’s Case Study House Program of the mid-1900s; are an examination into an over-arching architectural postulation that finding sociopolitical loci, commentary and (perhaps) change is an occurrence found first and foremost in the residential.
In the case of Solo Houses, the abodes are situated on craggy terrain of the Spanish canton of Matarraña. Although somewhat isolated from dense urban society (2 hours from Barcelona), the houses nonetheless engage in social commentary, which is expounded and experienced purely through architectural language (and perhaps most notably in the situated distance from dense urban society itself). Whilst Entenza’s line-up involved prominent architects of the mid-1900s from Saarinen to Koenig, Solo Houses is an immanent celebration of our contemporary architectural circumstance; with the variegated line-up of architects ranging from the conceptual whimsicality
of Sou Fujimoto to the august material articulation and sheer craftsmanship of Studio Mumbai. Although propounded to the public as a carte blanche for the architects in question, it is perhaps more pertinently explicated as an opportunity for the purity of an architectural concept to retain potency from ideation to reification; with the only parameters directing the project being primarily economical and geographical. Perhaps most notably what the situation has allowed for is a pervading localisation within the architecture; a consistent and thorough language, given an opportunity to resound throughout the said architecture as a sustained, unwavering leitmotif.
Casa Solo Pezo by the Chile-based Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects is a structure that emphatically levitates amongst the surrounding greenery, incisively piercing the sloping datum line. Access to the house is guided by a bifurcated monolithic staircase in cast concrete, with each diverging path leading to the same convergent space. Formally, the sober language of the house is found in its disciplined rectilinearity. A quadrilateral plinth is perched atop a singular column as a central structural gesture biomimetically analogous to a tree trunk. Floating views are offered from an open yet interstitial space encircling a central sky well akin to the Japanese houses
found in the world of the same name. Distinguishing the sky well is the presence of a pool carved from the centre of the space. A material favorite of Barragán - and arguably immortalized in our modern tradition by Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion; water is used in a highly material sense; reflecting the encompassing symmetry and adding; as Barragán would call it; a ’serenity’ to the space. The fluidity and transparency of the material serve as a direct counterpoint to the linear language of the volume and additionally offer a sonic tranquility to resound against the the solid concrete walls bearing traces of the local timber formwork.
The story is set in Marseille between 1947 and 1951, when Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (best known as Le Corbusier) could progressively watch - being erected from the surface of this dry soil - the old-fashioned human scaled vision of what he would conceptualize a "Habitat System". Affectionately nicknamed "La Maison du Fada" (The House of the Crackpot) by south of France locals, it fully seizes Le Corbu's inheritage for international architecture. Seen through the lense of photographer Elise Toïde, is an aesthetical reinterpretation filled with sci-fi minimalism. A composite piece of art based on this grayish concrete structure containing 337 apartments of 23 different types.
Another Architectural Spacetime
Post-WW2 was a real need for innovation - making the people dream, gathering them to live together, working with the barest materials on tough financial schemes and re-thinking the extension of the biggest cities - fully embodied by the Cité Radieuse as thought by Le Corbusier and his teams. Le Corbusier would himself declare that "a house is a machine for living" - so would the vision of this imaginary amphibious spaceship. Landed on earth early 50s, it could somehow find its way through the undulating landscape until the closest body of water before a safety ignition system would contact and have it vanishing in the cosmos.
The Manned Spacecraft & the Extra-Modulor
Dignified heir of Leonardo da Vinci - the full conceptualization is based on a system baptized Modulor - an obvious Vitruvian Man derivative enforcement. Mainly made up by the Master in a crave for universality - intending to overcome the two measurement systems that divide the planet - it is also a vow to the well-being of manhood. Modulor thus is a system calculated over the golden ratio - with scale following Fibonacci numbers adapted to human measurements.
Obsessed by the needs of humanity, Le Corbu would arrange its interiors by precisely defining the areas of accessibility and facilitating everyday in-house actions by lowering the efforts.
would arrange its interiors by precisely defining the areas of accessibility and facilitating everyday in-house actions by lowering the efforts.
Travelling Through Present Days
Initially thought as a vertical village - filled with interior streets, a daily, a library, a hotel, a school and a nursery - the roof used to be a public area filled with a pool & playground and 360° vision over the valley. On this open Air Space is now settled the MAMO Audi talents award. Created by Ora Ito, this laboratory where science and creation meet, offer young and established talents a place of exhibition and sharing.
Le Corbusier's consideration about architecture finds its logical evolution - "You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say: "This is beautiful." That is Architecture. Art enters in." - not only Art entered in, Art is now on top.
Poetry and self-derision lay side by side with ancestral values in both the worlds of Victoria Andrejeva (the founder designer of Cherevitchkiotvichki) and Harry Pontefract.
She, on the shoeside would play the organic Mother Nature; while he, on the women style, would elaborate a sartorial reintepretation of objects and pieces of clothes from the past. Likewise is his appearance of a wandering child in the serious costume of an astounded knight - some heroic character who could pass through time without gaining a wrinkle at least.
Altogether displaying their respective collections, offer an obvious - yet mise-en-scene - visual experience where the roughness of their creations accompany the genius feeling of an ancient British theatrical universe.
Opening the brand to a new range of materials, Victoria would scatter her own horizons into experimenting new fields of researches. On her regular basis of development, she invited her team into another experimental process where natural stains are able to withstand the test of time. Avocado bark, nuts, black beans, blueberries or melted copper are the responses to a gradation of organically refined colours.
But Victoria also plays a part into showing the elaborated craftmanship of Michael Moir and his spouse Helen. Lecturer of the London College of Fashion, Michael assembled along his carreer an impressive collection of shoes in the private archives of his London-based studio. Re-thinking the styles altogether with Victoria, they presented as well a small selection of their collaborations - under the auspices of this cobber, mastering the highest skills into his longstanding specialty.
The untitled first collection by Harry Pontefract is the quintessential evocation of nostalgia. Memory is a leitmotiv of the revocability of old fabrics and materials that lived many lives, thus carry per se an intense wave of souvenirs. All is precociously made by hand to render the coarse aspect of a dreamy yet comfortable wardrobe. Natural tones from light beige to marroon leather depict these neo-middle-aged inspirations.
Built between 1967-1972, The national HQ for the Parti Communiste Français by Oscar Niemeyer is characterized as a monument to what are now the vestiges of the French Communist Party. The material vocabulary of the building is in that of the early 20th century modernists: a sermon of concrete, steel and glass. However, the lyrical forms poetically sculpted
by Niemeyer’s sensual thought are of a different language; more so a response to the ascetic rationalism pervading architecture hitherto. Perhaps it is proper testament to Niemeyer’s ethos of a ‘form following beauty’, a beauty which he found inextricably linked with the voluptuous curves of a beloved woman and the mountainous terrain of his native Brazil.
Formally, the edifice is composed of tortuous billows of white concrete in structures which seem to suggest a diaphanousness and litheness rather than the gravitas characteristic of concrete. As is often the case in the work of the late-centenarian, acrobatic engineering is synthesized with sensuous spatial articulation, striking a balance distinguishable as a sensitive tensility.
The showpiece of the building is a semi-subterranean white concrete dome cocooning the meeting chamber for the party’s Central Committee. Separation between wall planes and ceiling planes becomes indiscernible as white aluminium panels are suspended from the hemispherical ceiling through which a muted light percolates softly.
In a world where Antonioni's Zabriskie Point meets Duncan Jones' Moon under the terrestrial shadows of Sofia Coppola's livelier Virgins, one shall feel invaded with thrill from the very end of the night.
Organically metallic particles of sound, high pantones psyche melodies, visionary images in motion as a landscape - the usual enthusiasm of a Parisian crowd in front of a cherished music group instigated to this band of four outsiders a generous shot of endorphins - highly discernible on the amazed expressions of Scott Hansen, Tycho's leader.
Performance explodes the walls of this hues close to enlarge the scopes of a shallow yet invigorating moment of grace.
In a two-way relationship between artists and their public, one can particularly appreciate the quasi-perfect acoustic of a live performance allowed by choice of the Parisian venue La Gaîté Lyrique as an enveloping treasure box. Not only the music and images in motion intensify the full show - but a very neat and likeable feeling that members of the group are interacting in a total fusion of scores.
Around Scott Hansen, Zac Brown (bass guitar & guitar), Joe Davencens (synthesizers & keyboards) and astonishing drummer Rory O'Connor - respectfully playing the roles of the providential shoulder - gifted, established and reliable - the humble happy genius - who always backs up and comes
instantly with the right solution - and the young master who revolutionizes it all with a fair dose of energy.When fall is coming and chills in the air remind one that summer's gone, it feels like a right decision to be walking on the Tychoon.