Exhibitions, shows and get-togethers will be presented in forty French cities, in partnership with a museum, a contemporary art centre, a theatre or a festival. On this occasion, Le Lieu unique and the Center Pompidou designed Megastructures, a new look on more than sixty years of architecture.
March 29 – May 21, 2017
Le Lieu unique
2 Rue de la Biscuiterie, Nantes
What is meant by Mégastructures? This architectural concept belongs to no movement, no group of theorists and no doctrine or architectural style. Since the late Fifties, it has defined a forward-looking vision of the constructed environment and the industrial landscapes contained in it. The idea it conveys orients the architectural concept towards a “concrete utopia” in a world without scale, a world-city, where all functions are superimposed on the “programme” of the modern city. The exploratory approach at the origin of Mégastructures sees architecture as a chance for radical reform, a project for society, leading the modern movement to question the humanistic aspect once more.
This narrative appears and makes its way through very different environments: the Japan of the Metabolists, and the circles of former students of the AA School in London, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the architecture schools of Vienna and Florence. It is staged mainly by architects, and recited, interpreted and commented by critics or exegetes like Reyner Banham and Michel Ragon. One forges the word “mégastructure”, the other “chants” it in a perspective of a futurology and a projection harking back to the industrial revolution. Mégastructures might construct something like the critical, renewed icons of a coupling between man and industry. What they could then capture would be the technical gesture as the start of a transformation of the environment. They would thus produce the image of an activity based on the relationship between man and his environment. As Gilbert Simondon wrote in 1965, “Even if technologies had no usefulness or purpose, they would have meaning: with the human species they are the most concrete expression of the power to evolve: they express life.” This is perhaps the scale — that of life, its evolution and culture’s dynamics of adaptation — on which we should now address the question of Mégastructures: an approach, its tactics and its strategies.
Right up to early 2018, in forty cities from Grenoble to Lille by way of Le François in Martinique, Chambord and Nice, ranging from evening events to six-month exhibitions, proposals mingling exhibitions, concerts, theatre, dance and talks invite every type of audience to experience and share the originality of the Centre Pompidou.