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23.5.05

Architectural News from France

I have a pile-up of cultural reportage from European newspaper reading to get off my virtual desk. The first item is something I read in an article (Le projet Fuksas choisi pour les Archives nationales, May 11) in Le Monde:

The Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas was awarded the contract to build the future Centre des Archives nationales in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine (Seine-Saint-Denis), on Tuesday, May 10, by the Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres [press release]. By this choice, which sets aside the proposals of Patrick Berger, Odile Decq et Benoît Cornette, Stéphane Maupin, and Marc Mimram, the minister confirmed the recommendation of the jury, which met on Wednesday, April 20, presided over by Martine de Boisdeffre, Director of the Archives de France. With a capacity of 320 linear km [198.85 miles], the new center is intended to collect, conserve, and make available for consultation the central reserve archives of the state since 1790 and for 30 more years to come. It will provide some relief of the overuse at the two existing centers in Paris and Fontainebleau. It will be completed in 2009.
The proposal to build a new center goes back to 2001, but the projected cost of 23 million € (US$28.9 million) to buy the land and another 120 million € (US$150.74 million) to build it complicated matters considerably. Fuksas, who won the Prix national d'architecture in 1999, will be working with landscape designer Florence Mercier. Europaconcorsi has some more information (in French), with a slideshow of 22 images of the model and other virtual drawings. Don't look now, Fred, but I think I saw Le Corbusier-like "pockmarking" on the building's planned aluminum façade.

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