Undertaken at the occasion of LAN’s 10th anniversary, Traces recalls the journey of Umberto Napolitano and Benoit Jallon through their projects and their travel impressions. The city is the point of departure and arrival for the “architectural experience.” It is, therefore, a palpable, external fact as well as a product of the mind, an abstraction. This book attempts to recreate this trajectory and to describe this exchange between the mind and the world through the traces it has produced.
Two separate moments lie at the heart of this book’s very structure and shape: one when the city is the site of an experience and of reflection and the other, when architects modify this site through a new project. The white notebooks contain writings, reflections, and observations collected over a ten-year period about our urban experiences. In fact, they hold the names of the cities that gave rise to them. These notes were often written during their travels, on the occasion of conferences or projects. Very importantly, though, they do not aspire to certainty; rather, they are a collection of questions and hypotheses. The black notebooks instead seek to delineate the scope of their research and to describe architecture as we practice it, namely as a collaborative effort, where each person’s ideas and experiences form part of our shared vision and designs.
With projects on
Student Residence, Paris / EDF Archives Center, Bure-Saudron / 58 Housing Units, Boulogne-Billancourt / Gymnasium and Town Hall esplanade, Chelles / Neue Hamburger Terrassen, Hamburg / 486 Mina el-Hosn, Beirut / Urban Renovation, Lormont / 72 Collective Housing Units, Bègles / 117 Housing Units, Mouvaux / 40 Housing Units, Paris / Town Hall, Saint Jacques de la Lande / Offices Euralille, Lille / Villa, Beirut / Bankmed Headquarters II, Beirut / 30 Social Housing Units, Paris / Marchesini Headquarters, Saint Mesmes / Hotel Residence, Atacama Desert / Courthouse, Saint Malo / Helsinki Central Library / Offices T6C, Paris / Atelier Hennessy, Cognac / Ampere park office, Massy / Minimum-security prison, Nanterre / 75 apartment complex, Colombes / William Rappard Centre, Genève / Saint Gobain, Aubervilliers.
LAN (Local Architecture Network) was created by Benoît Jallon and Umberto Napolitano in 2002, with the idea of exploring architecture as an area of activity at the intersection of several disciplines. LAN has developed this approach into a methodology for exploring new territories and forging a vision that addresses social, urban, functional and formal questions. LAN’s projects provide elegant, contemporary answers to creative and pragmatic issues.
Published by Actar, 2014.
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