En Fr
  • 1.

    The Sensual City path

    Extending an approach we have taken in a number of urban projects, we consider that each urban situation provides an opportunity to explore a conceptual framework based on the way that people will inhabit the city of tomorrow. Our starting point is to examine current and potential future ways of living, working, travelling and consuming in the city. Our aim, prior to designing any forms, is to create an environment that permits diversity and changing uses, and to incorporate these into a specific geography and historical context. The intention is to replace a geometric urbanism with an urbanism based on atmospheres, materialities and context in a way that intermingles architecture and landscape. And that uses the most advanced technologies to create a sensual city.

    The Sensual City is a project that answers the urgent question of what urban planning should be both today and tomorrow. The urban culture developed in the 20th century is steadily expanding and over half the world’s population now lives in cities, a proportion that is continually increasing and causing functional problems on an unprecedented scale. It is a situation that threatens our planet’s resources, as well as the way we live together in cities.
    In the western world, there is a need to go beyond the traditional model of the historical urban model –European and American- , take a fresh look not only at the city core, but also at the suburbs, the infrastructure, the transportation systems… and accept that they represent a fully-fledged contemporary urban landscape. Throughout the world and on all continents, giant cities with over ten million inhabitants are taking form. In the 21st century, hundreds of millions of people will find themselves living in an exclusively urban environment, an artificial universe in which technology will be omnipresent. The modernist city, placing emphasis on infrastructures and zoning, will deploy its ordinary, internationalist architecture throughout the planet and mass-produce urban worlds completely lacking in quality. Elsewhere, cities find themselves governed by nostalgia ; there are many towns in Europe and North America that suffer from this fate.
    With the Sensual City, our intention is to develop an alternative approach, one in which technology is not obtrusive nor an end in itself. On the contrary, as technology is perfected it becomes invisible, it disappears from view and allows people to live in cities that can be construed as built landscapes, designed to offer a full sensorial experience. The city becomes an environment that incorporates a high level of sustainable development as well as a setting where people can take pleasure in living together and relate to its history as the founding source of civilization. To achieve these ends, it is essential that the city be deeply rooted to its specific culture, climate and geography.

    • 1.1.

      Debate

    • 1.2.

      Proposals

      • 1.2.1.

        A HISTORY OF THRESHOLDS: LIFE, DEATH & REBIRTH

        T X T

        Thresholds are an–often overlooked–anthropological constant found in every era and every culture. From the spatial understanding of Greek antiquity to the establishment of the private sphere in the 18th century and the transparency of modern architecture, the threshold has always been a central architectural element. Like a visual symbol of a boundary or a transition, thresholds divide spaces, but are also a connecting element, opening up ways through and across, which have a subtle influence on one’s own perception of space.
        It is only in recent decades that thresholds have lost significance as part of our everyday experience with architecture. What remains is a growing emptiness between people and the spaces in which they live.
        Sensual City Studio not only provides an inspiring overview of this important architectural stylistic feature from all eras and cultures, but also shows in particular : thresholds can and must be rethought and rebuilt. In this respect, our book A History of Thresholds: life, death & rebirth, is a plea for the renaissance of the threshold and therefore also a manifesto for a human architecture.

        [ + ] to buy the book online

        I M G
      • 1.2.2.

        ARCHITECTURE AS NON-OPPRESSIVE DESIGN

      • 1.2.3.

        MINDWALKS

      • 1.2.4.

        THE SENSUAL STATION

      • 1.2.5.

        FRENCH PAVILION SHANGHAI EXPO 2010

      • 1.2.6.

        BELLE MEDITERRANÉE

      • 1.2.7.

        INVISIBLE CITIES

    • 1.3.

      Films

    • 1.4.

      Conferences

  • 2.

    The climate

  • 3.

    Built landscapes

  • 4.

    On the waterside

  • 5.

    In the sky

  • 6.

    Movement and balance

  • 7.

    Nightscape

  • 8.

    The materiality of cities

  • 9.

    News

  • 10.

    Informations

  • 11.

    Index