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Editorial, Paris, France

Thursday 20 Sep 2007

Architecture rules!

Photograph: M. Klein 
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French President seeks advice from "dream team" to develop new vision for Paris... 

This week, in a surprise move, the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy summoned 15 of the world’s top architects to lunch at the Élysée Palace to discuss his visions for the French capital. The meeting was timed to coincide with the opening of the new City of Architecture Museum in the Palace of Chaillot. Until now, Sarkozy had not been known for his interest in architecture.

The links between Parisian politics and symbolic architecture have been well established. The Mitterrand era being the most well known for his “Grands Travaux,” the Big Works. The grand scale projects included the Bastille Opera House by Carlos Ott, the Bibliotheque Nationale by Dominique Perrault, the Grande Arche by Johann Otto von Spreckelsen/Paul Andreu and the Louvre visitor complex by IM Pei.

Since that period, momentum has been lost with only one major venue, the Musée du Quai Branly by Jean Nouvel being built under the Chirac reign. There has been much speculation in the press that plans may be underway for an iconic development at Ile Seguin, site of the disused Renault factory on the Seine.

Dominique Perrault met the president and talks exclusively to WAN about Sarkozy’s vision for Paris.

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Main image: President Nicolas Sarkozy
Thumbnails from left to right: Images 1 & 2 the disused Renault Factory, Image 3 Dominique Perrault, Images 4 & 5 The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.

Thumbnail images: Images courtesy of Georges Fessy & Dominique Perrault Architecture

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