CRITICS LARRY DOLL, GAELLE BRETON,
& JEAN-FRANCIS RENAUD
This project was a part of a study abroad semeter at Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville. The team comprised on three University of Texas students and one from Belleville.
One of the most fascinating aspects of urban living and culture is the presence of a great number of very different people in a very limited amount of space, in which most are strangers to each other. This allows the possibility to build up an extensive system of subcultures close to each other, exposed to each other’s influences, but without necessarily intruding into people’s private lives. This physiological condition of urban living provides the opportunity to intersect these different subcultures and urban programs to create a richer and more interwoven urban experience for the city dweller.
The Urban Cliff’s constructed ground plane reacts to the topographical limits of the Parisian site by negotiating the two main levels while also being manipulated by programmatic forces. By using the metaphor of the urban cliff condition, the architecture creates a theatrical backdrop for the site’s various activities while addressing issues such as prospect and refuge.