Contemporary Architecture: Dominique Perrault

2035 Words Jul 7th, 2018 9 Pages
Dominique Perrault, the leading French architect, became a landmark figure in contemporary architecture after winning the competition for the Bibliothèque nationale de France at age of 36. Perrault was born in 1953 and was educated at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He holds many prestigious prizes and awards including "Grande Médaille d'or d'Architecture" (2010), "Seoul Metropolitan Architecture Award" for EWHA Womans University in Korea, "World Architecture Award" (2002), "Mies van der Rohe prize" (1997), "French national Grand Prize for Architecture" (1993).
This essay will analyse Dominique Perrault’s award winning project Bibliothèque nationale de France built in Paris in 1989-1995. It will
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“Minimalism, here, does not stand for a reduction of means, but rather an amplification of means that have their starting point in a reduced syntax”, Perrault, (1999). However, his works are constantly influenced by project location’s geography and based on the appliance of geometry as a planning instrument. It can clearly be seen in the design of the French National Library - in order to save and redeem the place that is built to the scale of the capital, National Library of France was designed to introduce generous free open space and volume (Perrault, 1999). It is materialised by four tall towers, defining the boundaries of an esplanade. These structures propose a voluminous verticality that defines the poetry of the complex. Furthermore, the four corner towers resemble four open books, all facing one another, they present a symbolic place by imposing the library’s identity on the urban landmarks. They develop and enhance the idea of the four beacons that invite and attract attention to the space. The towers present themselves as an ongoing process of learning and developing of knowledge and identify this space as cultural treasure (Perrault, 1999).
Minimalism and “large containers” are common and powerful themes in Perrault’s work (Capitanucci and Perrault, 2006). They are visible internally and externally, where the vast racks of books with countless shelves appear as
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