The proposed amendments to the Cannabis for Private Purposes bill that seeks to further decriminalise cannabis usage and legalise South…
Actar Publishers, January 2021
Hardcover | 9-1/4 x 11-1/2 inches | 352 pages | English | ISBN: 978-1948765312 | $59.95
The writing of Dominique Coulon & Associés, nominated twice for the Mies van der Rohe award, reflects the agency’s work in connection with different contextual postures and the construction of complex spatial relationships.
In circumstances that are often difficult, buildings add value to their locations, transforming them. This book explores the public dimension of architecture taking a new look at the eclectic work of Dominique Coulon; his production of public buildings illustrates the complexity of his architectural approach. Dominique Coulon plays with context, light, and materiality to produce public places that are detailed and welcoming. The areas he proposes affect and accompany the body. His architecture is part of a dynamic relationship, mobilising the senses to propose a specific universe, which may be cheerful, or dramatic. These spaces serve the public dimension of his architecture.
With multiple schools, libraries, sports complexes, and theaters, among other public functions, I can’t help but agree with Coulon. Nevertheless, I’m glad Merlini asks the question, in turn drawing readers’ attentions to the architect’s wider oeuvre as well as his influences and ways of designing and thinking. At first I found the 65-page “Conversations” section a bit odd: it’s a lot of text, and considering how little most architects actually read, I couldn’t help think the conversations might have worked better if they were spread out evenly among the eighteen completed buildings rather than in one chunk. But by talking with a fellow architect (Merlini), a neuroscientist (Claude Bonnet) a client (Étienne Butzbach), and two philosophers (Daniel Payot and Alexandra Pignol), the four conversations held more interest than I was expecting. Too many monographs feature interviews that are more marketing than insightful, but these are the opposite; they are intellectual and truly conversations, with readers learning just as much about the guests of Coulon as they do about Coulon himself.