Christian de Portzamparc studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1962 to 1969. Soon after completing his studies, he set his mark on the landscape of the new town of Marne-la- Vallée with his Water Tower, a "poetic monument". In 1975, he designed a neighbourhood in Paris with 210 dwellings: Rue des Hautes-Formes was completed in 1980 and marked a turning-point in the history of urban design. Christian de Portzamparc works all over the world, theorising on the present and future of the city, fragmentation, a caseby- case approach and the "open block" concept. From an individual building to an entire neighbourhood, the city is fundamental to his work, which is dominated by three overlapping themes.