This is the architecture presented in a very beautiful posture: a knowledge and a trade at the crossroads of arts and sciences. “Globes. Architecture and science explore the world” shows how architects were actors in the discovery of the world, bearers of universal aspirations, designers of monuments of knowledge. How they invented the first observatories or planetariums, adjusting their knowledge to that of scientists to meet a constructive challenge: to build large spherical volumes. In 90 major pieces, the exhibition tells the epic of spectacular buildings, carrying a humanist project of conquest and transmission of knowledge, and the adventures of architects with an exceptional destiny, in turn companions of scientists, utopians to their account, as CN Ledoux, directors of the Power as also sometimes inventors-jugglers of the Universal Expositions.
“Globes. Architecture and science explore the world”
November, 10, 2017 – March 16, 2018
Citè de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
1 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, Paris
The collection of projects also offers a transversal history: nations and their rivalry (the Globe symbol of power), ideas (the figures of the Earth in political thought), scientific progress (the conquest of space and its symbols)… Over the centuries, architectural projects that imitate the forms and movements of the Earth and the sky are numerous enough to constitute a true story, a story to be written in a lively and structured way. By weaving links with geography, astronomy and science fiction, the exhibition builds a cross-sectional history of architecture, resulting from an encounter between popular culture and scholarly research.
It addresses an ideal motive, the quest for the representation of the terrestrial world and the cosmos by spherical geometry. Thus is told the epic of these buildings, places of both knowledge and power, united by their roundness. The exhibition revisits these atypical projects, often unknown or little studied, where architects were the masters of spectacular forms in which both technical and scientific knowledge and multiple vocations were deployed.
Organized around 15 routes and 90 projects built or not, mainly from the middle of the seventeenth century to today, documented and illustrated by numerous models, drawings, plans and films, the exhibition allows to observe and understand how each designer has managed to materialize the spherical form and to accommodate its perfect geometry to the contingencies of construction and earthly gravity.
The reconciliation of projects from very different times and contexts (the Enlightenment, the nineteenth century and its World Expositions, world wars, the conquest of space, etc.) allows comparisons and genealogies, the search for specificities and the origins of ideas (the types of globes, the scenography of their spaces, the ideologies and ideals of their programs, the mechanisms and techniques of construction, etc.). Thus, the exhibition offers a dive into an imaginary museum of the world and its stories.