The Seven Approaches to Building in Old Neighborhoods

The seven approaches to adding contemporary layers to historic urban environments is based on an exhibition prepared by the French and held at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1980. To consult the exhibition catalog, click on the link below.

At that time, France's President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing was intent on defining a national policy for architecture. He was convinced that the renewal of architecture in France included the restoration of historic urban areas where more than 15 million citizens lived and that this required subtle and varied architectural solutions: modern creations or additions that would contribute to enriching forgotten urban landscapes and would transpose harmonies. The exhibition's goal was to illustrate this subject. It proposed seven approaches to adding contemporary layers to historic urban environments. It stated that each approach did not guarantee a qualitative or harmonious solution. Only good architectural design would achieve this. But at least, everyone could now understand in what context contemporary interventions were being made in historic urban environments and could discuss them in reference to a common base.

[click] Construire en quartier ancien

1. Degree "0" - Montparnasse Tower, Paris, France.

1. Degree "0" - Sagrada Familia by Antonio Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain.

1. Degree "0" - Basilica Santa Maria del Fiore, by Brunelleschi, Florence Italy 1436.

1. Degree "0" - Shanghai, China.

1. Degree "0" - Romisch-Germanisches Museum, Cologne, Germany.

1. Degree "0" - Douai, France.

Degree "0" - Place Gaspard-de-Coligny, Saint-Quentin, France.

2. Integration - Saint-Quentin, France.

2. Integration - Laon, France.

2. Integration - Colmar, France.

2. Integration - Rue de Vaugirard, Paris, France.

2. Integration - Place Royale, Quebec City, QC, Canada.

2. Integration - Byward Market, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

2. Integration - Lord Elgin Hotel, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


3. Contrast - Rue Matignon, Paris, France.

3. Contrast - Pompidou Center, Paris, France.

3. Contrast - The Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria; Peter Cook and Colin Fournier architects.

3. Contrast - Locminé, France.

3. Contrast - Le Louvre, Paris, France.

3. Contrast - Rue de Sèvres, Paris, France.

3. Contrast - National Ballet School, Toronto, ON, Canada.

3. Contrast - Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON, Canada.

4. Laughable - Paris, France.

4. Laughable - Angers, France.

4. Laughable - Rue Matignon, Paris, France.

4. Laughable - Bad Godesberg, Germany.

4. Precarious - Eiffel Tower, Paris, France.

4. Precarious - Visitor Center, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

4. Precarious - Canadian Forces Base, Esquimalt, BC, Canada.

4. Precarious - Quebec City, QC, Canada.

5. Invisibility, Mirror - rue Matignon, Paris, France.

5. Invisibility, Mirror - Izabelin House, Poland.

5. Invisibility, Mirror - Bank of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

5. Invisibility, Transparency - Lille, France.

5. Invisibility, Transparency - Paris, France - Jean Nouvel, E. Cattani & Ass. 1994.

5. Invisibility, Burial - UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.

5. Invisibility, Burial - Les Halles, Paris, France.

5. Invisibility, Burial - Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, AB, Canada.

5. Invisibility, Burial - Grand Triannon, Versailles, France.

5. Invisibility, Camouflage - Beaubourg, Paris, France.

5. Invisibility, Camouflage - Rue de la Reynie, Paris, France.

5. Invisibility, Camouflage - San Francisco, USA.

5. Invisibility, Camouflage - World Trade Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada.

5. Invisibility, Camouflage - Boulevard des Italiens, Paris, France.


6. Analogy - Bruges, Belgium.

6. Analogy - Angers, France.

6. Analogy - Paris, France.

6. Analogy - Henderson Bldg, CFB Esquimalt, BC, Canada.

6. Analogy - Troyes, France.

6. Analogy - Franklin Court, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

6. Analogy - Forges de Saint-Maurice, Three-Rivers, QC, Canada.

7. Complex Examples - City Hall, Bernsberg, Germany.

7. Complex Examples, Poitiers, France.

7. Complex Examples - Bourges, France.

7. Complex Examples - Rome, Italy.