Chapter 1 of 24
I consider myself a Modern architect. My work is in a certain way a continuation with the basic ideology or important thrusts of the Modern movement, which considers an equivalent between the aesthetic value of architecture and the social value of the recent way archi- tecture was done. I consider that the criticisms which have been made of the Modern aesthetic, of its nudity, have more to do with the fact that this nudity has become a cheap economical value, taken over by profit—oriented developers on one side and, on the other, the fact that this Modern space, this liberty, this incredible possibility of doing a free architecture, has enormous difficulty being taught. The images which follow concern three topics: one which has to do with the Modern space, the other with housing as a way of continuing this ideal of the bettering of human environment as one of the biggest ideals of the Modern movement, and last, public buildings. The housing schemes are essentially big housing projects which are now the important part of the development of French new architecture. The French cen— tralised policies and overwhelming capacity to build from a central stand have permitted some architects to build with a sector which was neglected as an architectural one, urban space as the place where the public realm must be created. That's why, for me, having the opportunity of building public housing in different urban situations, was the most important demonstration that the power of Modern capacity of creating better environments for Man was possible. At the same time in the early '705 I realised that Utopian cities or idea] cities were no longer possible because of that difficulty of having a one-man decision over a long period of time in one site and at the same time over an extensive territory. This forced me to concentrate on creating urban pieces. By urban pieces I understand an autonomous program which doesn't need all the environment in order to survive and give the people concerned the whole potential of the living unit.