On View> The Louvre opens major restoration of its Decorative Arts Galleries

Preliminary sketch for the Bas de Montargis and Oudry galleries by Jacques Garcia.

Preliminary sketch for the Bas de Montargis and Oudry galleries by Jacques Garcia.

If you like French decorative arts you should make your way this summer to the Louvre’s newly restored and reinstalled 18th century Decorative Arts Galleries. The collection is housed in 35 galleries spanning 23,000 square feet. Over 2,000 design pieces “in object-focused galleries and period-room settings” are on display.

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French Artist Turns Iconic Architecture into Quirky Animated GIF’s

Memory Museum by Estudio America. (Courtesy Axel de Stampa)

Mirador Building by MVRDV. (Courtesy Axel de Stampa)

The French “GIF artist”—welcome to the 21st century, everybody—Axel de Stampa has officially made time-lapse videos look like child’s play. In his new project, Animated Architecture, de Stampa spins, shifts, tops, and deconstructs some of the most visually distinctive contemporary buildings—all in endlessly entertaining GIF format.

Check out more after the jump.

Sands of Time: How an Architect Commemorates D-Day’s 70-Year Anniversary

(Courtesy donaldweber.com)

(Courtesy Circuit Gallery)

Donald Weber is a former architect turned visual media artist. His latest project, War Sand, is a series of microscopic photographs that depict pieces of shrapnel embedded in individual grains of sand along the beaches of Normandy. Each photograph—which takes over eight hours for Weber to produce—is a testimony to one of the most famous days in history, as well as to the relationship between art and science.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Eiffel Tower’s New “First Floor” Almost Complete

Architecture, International
Thursday, March 13, 2014
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Work is almost finished on a revamped viewing platform and event space at the Eiffel Tower. While it’s called the First Floor, it’s nearly 200 feet above ground and will offer panoramic views of Paris. And for the braver visitors, it will offer views straight down as the new space has a glass-floor viewing platform. Moatti-Rivière Architects is heading up the renovation, which will include shops, restaurants, conference rooms and event spaces. The new floor will also be better suited to those with disabilities and incorporate green technologies including solar panels and the rainwater collection.

Market-in-Training: Proposal Would Transform Paris’ Abandoned Railroad

City Terrain, International
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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Parisian market archpaper 1

(Courtesy Amílcar Ferreira & Marcelo Fernandes)

Paris is known in part for its numerous quaint outdoor markets offering foodstuffs and vintage objects. It is also home to an—if not quaint, at least fairly aged—abandoned railway system, the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture. Two enterprising architects have now proposed combining the idea behind the former retail markets and the infrastructure of the latter to create a traveling market that would circle the city center.

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Historic Train Station in Paris To Become World’s Largest Start-Up Incubator

(Courtesy Wilmotte et Associés)

(Courtesy Wilmotte et Associés)

Paris has its answer to Silicon Valley, with plans to convert an historic train station into the world’s largest home for digital entrepreneurship. Architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte has been entrusted to rehabilitate the landmark building, situated on the southern bank of the river Seine, into a technological hub to accommodate 1,000 start-up companies by the year 2016.

Continue reading after the jump.

BIG Wins Competition for Museum of the Human Body in Montpellier, France

International, Pictorial, Unveiled
Monday, December 2, 2013
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BIG's Museum of the Human Body in Montpellier, France (Courtesy BIG)

BIG’s Museum of the Human Body in Montpellier, France (Courtesy BIG)

A team led by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has won an international design completion for the new Museum of the Human Body in Montpellier, France. Recalling the forms of some of BIG’s other recent projects, most notably Blaavard Bunker Museum in Varde, Denmark (which has just received funding to move forward) and the 200-acre EuropaCity mega-development outside Paris, the 84,000 square foot museum will rise from the surrounding landscape with grass-capped roofs, and a seemingly continuous, curving glass façade.

Continue reading after the jump.

Jakob + MacFarlane Designs a Pair of Carafes for Ricard Pastis

International
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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Jakob + MacFarlane's Ridard Duo Carafe Set (Courtesy Pernod Ricard)

Jakob + MacFarlane’s Ridard Duo Carafe Set. (Courtesy Pernod Ricard)

Another week, another architect-designed liquor bottle. This time around, Paris-based architecture duo Jakob + MacFarlane—who made headlines over the summer with their tubular “Turbulances” project in France—have joined up with the manufacturer of their nation’s most popular pastis to create a pair chiseled, glass decanters.

The set of slender, carved-glass carafes, commissioned by Pernod Ricard, is color-coded and sculpted to represent the “authenticity” of the beloved aperitif. The pair—consisting of a clear, ice-like container for water and an opaque, yellow one for the liqueur—are packaged together in a punctured, swiss cheese–shaped box.

France’s FRAC Centre to Open New Tubular Prefabricated Center

(Nicolas Borel  / Courtesy Jakob + MacFarlane)

(Nicolas Borel / Courtesy Jakob + MacFarlane)

The Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain, known as the FRAC, will open its fourth location at the former Subsistances military site in the Centre Region on September 14th. The Orleans-based center dubbed “The Turbulences” is the brainchild of architecture duo, Jakob + MacFarlane, who have renovated the original U-shaped military base and created a bold prefabricated  structure in the middle of the courtyard to house the public reception area, cafeteria, bookshop, and auditorium.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architects have no work? Let them eat cake!

Palace of Versailles. (Courtesy Wikipedia / Montage by AN)

Palace of Versailles. (Courtesy Wikipedia / Montage by AN)

The planners of the AIA New York Chapter 2014 International Architecture and Design Summit have selected a pretty unusual conference venue: the Chateau of Versailles. Given the still sorry state of the economy, the choice left us scratching our head (under our powdered wig). Perhaps Rick Bell will point out the lessons in urban agriculture to be found in the Petit Trianon? Summit participants can display their work on easels in the Galeries Batailles, which will be handy if they want to do a little painting later en plein air. Apres tout, Giverny is less than an hour away by automobile, a bit longer by carriage though. Potential attendees are warned that the Plaza Anthénée will be closed for renovations. Sacrebleu!

French Architect’s Restaurant Designs Creates A Pixelated Green Facade

Newsletter, Other
Monday, June 3, 2013
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(Courtesy Stephane Malka Architecture)

(Courtesy Stephane Malka Architecture)

Whoever said that one needs to leave the city to experience nature hasn’t seen French architect Stephane Malka’s striking facade proposal for the Parisian restaurant EP7, an unusual site that is sure to stand out in the urban setting of the city. Amidst a city of man-made concrete and glass structures could rise a building essentially comprised of an organically growing “forest.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> Farshid Moussavi Designs a Wavy Apartment Tower in Montpellier

International
Monday, April 29, 2013
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Jardins de la Lironde, Lot 2 (Courtesy Fashid Moussavi Architecture)

Jardins de la Lironde, Lot 2 (Courtesy Fashid Moussavi Architecture)

London-based Farshid Moussavi Architecture has won a competition to design a residential tower in Montpellier, France. The so-called “Lot 2″ project will be the first of 12 new buildings in the Jardins de la Lironde brownfield development in the city’s Port Marianne district, with construction set to begin in 2014.

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