After La Villette

Why after?

After, because the site is located in Paris, right behind the Park de la Villette.

After, because we can no longer design as Tschumi’s did in terms of programs and a lack of dialogue with infrastructure, topography and ecology. Complexity does not come from the mere assemblage of several programs and surfaces, but lies into the capacity to make emerge new usages, new ecological habitats and places to inhabit that shape and organize the site and its adjacent surroundings.

After, because Paris is no longer a centripetal city surrounded by circular highways but offers a system of transversal situation between suburbs and downtown that leads to new territories of intervention. Today, the new campus of Condorcet, headquarters, housing, offices, concert halls, tramways and shopping mall are booming all around the Park leading to the Northern suburbs. After being the Parisian farmland and industry, the Asian import-export textile firms, this part of Paris is becoming the new place to live, study, play and work.

The After La Villette studio addresses the urban scale, the infrastructure of the highways and the canal, the urban landscape, the ecology of asphalt and the water. Obviously, it is more than extending the park of La Villette. Starting from the park, the studio seeks to define topographic, ecological and infrastructural principles to reorganize a 40 hectare site made of warehouses, rubbles and vacant lands.

The studio will begin by a series of short exercises on mapping, topographic modeling and 3D milling. The goal is to create a common vocabulary and database of precedents, actions, forms and surfaces that will inform the project.

Course format:
Foam models with the 3 axis mill, videos, axonometric, phasing diagrams, plan, and sections.

Working with CNC technology offers an interesting analogy to landscape architecture. Milling is a subtractive process where material is taken away from a uniform foam block. This is similar to the way landscape is modified and sculpted: earth is also subtracted or displaced. The CNC proceeds from a rough to a fine surface as bulldozers do in digging, terracing and leveling the earth.

Collecting, Setting, Subtracting, carving, stretching, Drawings, Testing
Time 2
Design Process, hypothesis, topographic modeling
Time 3
Final modeling, drawings and representations

Method of Evaluation:
– intermediate juries and a final jury

Knowledge in Rhino, Mastercam, landscape ecology, grading and topographic design. Interest in urban landscape, hydrology, phasing, programs, public space.

Irregular Schedule:
Thursdays and Fridays 2 pm – 6pm
Studio meets 8/29 (evening) and 8/30; and 9/12, 9/13, 9/26, 9/27, 10/10, 10/11, 10/24, 10/25, 11/7, 11/8, 11/14, 11/15, 11/21, 11/22, 12/5 (optional), 12/6 (optional). Philippe will be available to meet individually with students at mutually agreeable times the days that he is in town.