Palais de Tokyo - Paris - France
European cities today possess an extraordinary heritage of constructions, passed down through centuries of planning and architectural history. And yet, priority generally continues to be given to a policy of demolition and replacement by new buildings, be they service structures or residential.
Considering today’s parameters of ecological sustainability and the precarious economic situation, the reuse or “postproduction” of this heritage clearly ought to
be essential to primary strategies for the future development of cities.
With their extension of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal prove that an architecture of demolition, subtraction and incompletion is that which resonates most intensely with today’s contemporary art.
The second phase in the restoration of the Palais the Tokyo followed the same guidelines as the first intervention: conservation of the original bare concrete structure by means of minimal alterations, in order to provide the city with open and flexible facilities for contemporary art.
The strategy of a non-invasive “cleaning-up” of the existing elements allowed the architects to preserve several decorative features that had been added to the Palais the Tokyo in refurbishments since its construction, but with had over the years become an integral part of its architecture.
[project selected by Jara Mahdavi Daronkola]