En Fr
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    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.

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        T X T

        Everyone has his or her own image of a Mediterranean city. Above all, it is a series of sensations: the intense blue sky, the sparkling sea, the pine trees swaying in the breeze, the laundry hanging from the corners of apartment windows, the particular sound of the wind, the clacking of petanque balls, the too-noisy motorbikes, the conversations that float through the air until late at night, the smells that waft amidst the streets. Impressions such as these do not easily find a place in manuals of urbanism. They are, however, what makes Mediterranean cities so unique and beautiful. Well beyond their territorial and administrative divisions, cities in the Mediterranean arc share similar cultural and experiential features. From Genova to Barcelona, through Nice, Marseille and Montpellier, the ten million inhabitants of the area each embrace the same landscape—that is, one that faces the sea, and is most often flanked by the pronounced reliefs of the hinterland. They bask in the same climate that creates similarities in their rhythms and their daily preoccupations.

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    The climate

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    Built landscapes

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    On the waterside

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    In the sky

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    Movement and balance

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    The materiality of cities

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