From February 12, 2015 Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris will be host to an exhibition on the evolution of the city of Paris over the last century. Created in collaboration with the University of Versailles, the exhibition is composed of photographs, plans and drawings, and an impressive display of an over 120 square-meter scale model representing the diversity of urban housing in the city.
Called “Habitat Metropole“, the activities programmed by Pavillon de l’Arsenal include not just exhibitions, but also a series of conferences and debates, guided tours around Paris, workshops and activities for families and children for a more dynamic and educational approach to understanding the changes undergone in the city’s buildings and Parisian’s way of life.
Starting with the creation of the Public Housing Institution, “Office Public d’Habitation à Bon Marché“, in 1914, Paris has undergone many changes: over 1200 operations, providing housing for over 200 000 inabitants. Paris Habitat: One hundred years of city, one hundred years of life attempts to give account of the work carried out by this insitution organizing itself around a large set of scale models of fragments of the city, contrasting works from different contexts to fully understand the complexity and diversity of Paris’ housing.
From Low-Cost to Large Housings, from hygienics to ecology, beyond the creation of our daily landscape, each one of these buildings bears witness of the will to change society through housing. Unissued archives on the 40 iconic projects exhibited illustrate a hundred years of exchanges between the City, the Office, the architects and the inhabitants. Through graphic documents, films, publications, they allow us to see the buildings but also their construction process.
Thus the lessor’s heritage, that is to say slightly less that 10% of all Paris housing, reveals both its contribution to the metropolis’ construction and its teams’ ability to answer contemporary issues: transformation of offices into housing, inhabitants’ participation, new building and conception processes… for the making of a city intended to be dense, miscellaneous, intense, fertile and agile.
Alongside the exhibitions and activities, Pavillon de l’Arsenal has also edited a catalog to further explain the results of the research carried out for “Habitat Metropole”. The book was comissioned to the architect and curator of the “Paris Habitat” exhibition, Javier Arpa, with the aid of architects Fernando Altozano and Sebastian Severino.
The exhibition will be open until the 3rd of May.
Entrance to the Pavillon de l’Arsenal is free.