France's Economic, Social and Environmental Council, in collaboration with Fondazione Prada organized "Auguste Perret, Huit Chefs d’oeuvre !/? – Architectures du béton armé" exhibition (27 November 2013 - 19 February 2014) at Palais d’Iéna in Paris. Joseph Abram is the scientific curator, with his team of National School of Architecture in Nancy, and the responsible for the theoretical and historical coherence of the project.
Miuccia Prada, exhibit curator Joseph Abram and architect Rem Koolhaas - Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images For Prada
The focus of the exhibition is on eight major works: in Paris, immeuble de la Rue Franklin (1903), Théâtre des Champs- Elysées (1913), église Notre Dame du Raincy (1923), salle Cortot (1928), Mobilier national (1934) and Palais d’Iéna (1937); and in Le Havre, Hôtel de Ville (1950) and église Saint Joseph (1951). With their technical inventiveness and unique relationship with their materials, these eight buildings represent a decisive addition to 20th-century architecture.
The Palais d’Iéna itself is the first exhibit. For the exhibition, located in the pillared hypostyle room, OMA AMO has reused designs made for earlier Prada events: since 2011 the office has been exploring the interior of the Palais in its staging of fashion parades and cultural events.
The scenography of the exhibition 'Auguste Perret: Eight Masterpieces!/?' is a collage of these explorations, designed as contemporary interpretations of Perret's architecture. This temporary construction – this building within a building – is a deeply contextual installation that highlights the enduring virtues of its concrete setting.
Among the numerous archival items that introduce the eight masterpieces are:
- Some 100 original architectural drawings from the Perret agency
- Photographs from the Chevojon studio, that worked intimately with the Perret office over five decades
- Analytical models
- A fascinating mixed bag of personal and biographical material: letters, albums, objects, books, magazines.
Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images For Prada
The exhibition includes over 400 original items, some of them on public display for the first time.
The presentation of this major event at the Palais d'Iéna reflects the ESEC's policy of hosting cultural and artistic projects as a stimulus for public dialogue, also promoted by many events and debates organized within the institution.
A cultural programme will run during the exhibition dedicated to Auguste Perret: the Palais will be opening its doors to the public and will host talks, debates, workshops, concerts and screenings in the hemicycle.
Photo credits: (c) Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images For Prada
Cover image: Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images For Prada
Watch the trailer about the movie by Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine realized into House in the rue Franklin: