The architectural thought of Auguste Perret (1874-1954) was dedicated to defining a set of characteristics peculiar to the recently discovered material, reinforced concrete. His output demonstrates a radical approach and represents a departure from the construction traditions of the time. In parallel, it can also be perceived as a classical practice, following the ideas of Viollet-Le-Duc, among others.
A series of themes spreads through Perret's work - facades, the sovereign shelter, the inclusion of a space into another, the structural expression, etc. These themes constitute the fundamental elements of his method and one can find them in every scheme. In this exhibition each element is used as the starting point for a new project - the final set of design propositions gives a clear view of Auguste Perret's repertoire: column, profile, structure, shelter, cabinet, room, portico and vault.
This work was developed with a third-year studio at ENSA-Versailles - a space created for research that brings together theory and practice. The projects on show evoke proto-architectures and inhabitable open structures instead of architectural answers to predetermined functional requirements. The approach refers to Perret's pronouncement during the construction of Palais d'Iena, "[...] a vast, all purpose shelter. Today it houses civil engineering equipment. Tomorrow we could have sculptures exhibited here [...]."
Organised by: Cedric Libert and Thomas Raynaud
Contributing students: Roxane Belot, Charles Bourely, Julien Bricout, Evalyne Chancel,Thomas Charil, Alice Desamais, Arnaud Despretz, Maria Del Mar Flores Flo, Simon Genillier, Lucas Huvet, Amaury Lefevere, Manon Muller, Julie Rondeau, Charles Rosenfeld, Antoine Souche and Thomas Yaher
A toutes fins utiles was originally developed as a contribution to the exhibition Auguste Perret: Huit Chefs d'oeuvre !/? curated by Rem Koolhaas OMA/AMO and Joseph Abram and organised by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC) in collaboration with Fondazione Prada at the Palais d'Iena - ESEC headquarters in 2013.