Page D1.1 . 19 March 2008                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
NEWS   |   DESIGN   |   BUILDING   |   DESIGN TOOLS   |   ENVIRONMENT   |   CULTURE
< Prev Page Next Page >
 
DESIGN
 
  •  
  • Les Archives Départementales
     
  •  
  • A Block in Temple Bar
     
  •  
  • Talking with Taniguchi

     
    AND MORE
      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Search
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters
       

     
    QUIZ

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Les Archives Départementales

    by Kevin Matthews

    There is something inherently abstract about the government archive. Storage of old records can too easily be seen as a utility function free of aesthetic aspiration. Compared to a classic library program, an archive might be seen as exaggerating the stacks while minimizing the interacting human element. In some archives this tendency leads to the place where the technical function of storage obliterates the impulse for architecture.

    This helps understand how fresh and open the expression is of the Archives départementales d'Ille-et-Vilaine, in Rennes, France, by French architects Ibos & Vitart, based in Paris. Resonating with the glass stacks of Perrault's Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris (1996), yet more immediately frank and rational, the archives here are also sheathed in an upright glass case, which is set behind a transparent, earth-touched slab housing all the human functions of the center.

    "These are two sealed worlds, one open and warm, the other black. They are almost incompatible," in the words of Myrto Vitart.

    The building name, "Archives départementales," radiates outward from the glass case in four-story-tall red-letter supergraphics, providing both a proclamatory distant effect and an abstract decorative local effect within the building. The dual symbolism expresses at a civic scale the responsibility of a public memory, and at an individual scale the curatorially detached engagement with specific small elements of the memory.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    Continue...

    ArchWeek Image
    SUBSCRIPTION SAMPLE

    The Departmental Archives of Ille-et-Vilaine in Rennes, France, was designed by the Paris architecture firm Ibos & Vitart.
    Photo: Stéphane Chalmeau Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    A pattern of alternating glass-walled rooms and open patios defines the lower floors of the Departmental Archives.
    Photo: Stéphane Chalmeau Extra Large Image

     

    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

     
    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK  |  GREAT BUILDINGS  |  ARCHIPLANET  |  DISCUSSION  |  BOOKS  |  FREE 3D  |  SEARCH
      ArchitectureWeek.com © 2008 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved