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Renzo-Piano at the Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Fondation

By 15 May 2024May 24th, 2024No Comments

From 10th April to 23rd November 2024, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Jérôme-Louis Seydoux Foundation, the building designed by Renzo Piano will host an exhibition dedicated to the Genoese architect and his vision of the ideal city. The exhibition pays tribute to Renzo Piano’s “Building Workshop”, founded in 1981, and examines the issues involved in integrating each urban project into the fabric of the Paris region.

The research and documentation centre on the top floor – Fondation Seydoux-Pathé

The tour proposed by the exhibition curator tells the story of the architect’s approach to designing his projects, from the creative and thought processes presented in drawings and sketches on the ground floor, to the projects themselves and how they fit into the city through the models and graphics on display on the first floor. This insight into Renzo Piano’s imagination allows visitors to understand the uniqueness of each building and to situate it within the urban fabric, its surroundings, the landscape and its neighbourhood. A film closes the exhibition, offering a cinematic approach to these different projects.

Renzo Piano, audacious, monumental and innovative architecture

The architect is behind major buildings that have shaped the urban landscape of the world’s largest cities. Technological prowess, disruptive aesthetics and environmental harmony are at the heart of his projects. Co-architect with Richard Angers of the Centre Pompidou, built between 1971 and 1977, he created a highly technological and singular architecture for the monument, uncovering the building’s framework of coloured air ducts and external escalators. His design for the skyscraper destined for the New York Times headquarters in Manhattan built between 2004 and 2007 also displays a technological boldness by equipping the building with rods in thermo-sensitive ceramics, which allow the facades not to obstruct light while absorbing it. The building’s ecological vocation underlines another important aspect of Renzo Piano’s work. His work is concerned with the harmonious integration of buildings into their environment, as shown by the Paul Klee Museum (1998) in Switzerland, whose structure is inspired by the surrounding Alps. 

Aerial view of the Centre Pompidou – © Julien Fromentin

The “caterpillar” at the Centre Pompidou – © Manuel Braun

An undulating hull amidst Haussmann buildings

On the Avenue des Gobelins in Paris’s 13th arrondissement, the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé unfurls a curved, organic volume behind the historic façade of the former Théâtre Populaire des Gobelins, sculpted by Auguste Rodin in 1868, who created the two central figures on the pediment, representing drama and comedy. Presumably inspired by the marine world (a ship’s hull, whale or shell), an egg-shaped building constructed by Renzo Piano between 2008 and 2014 extends the façade and rises up to catch the light. Clad in a shell of grey aluminium, it also pays homage to the zinc roofs of Paris. The glass roof on the top floor forms a hemispherical cap, allowing the research and documentation centres to be bathed in light.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop – Fondation Seydoux-Pathé

Pauline Leroux