ARCHITECTURE: Parc Villette. [more]

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27-OCT-1993 07:02:18.27
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Subj: RE: parc villette

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Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1993 09:32:14 EDT
From: Dave Johnson <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: parc villette
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I visited Parc Villette this summer in Paris. Despite all the hoopla in
the architectural press, I believe it is a failure. I was there on a fine
June Saturday. The place was deserted, despite being located in a fairly
dense part of the city. The bright red pavilions already look dated. So
far as I could tell, none of the restaurants or food stands in the pavilions
have survived. The most interesting part of the parc is the strange,
depressed visual/ aural experience at one end of the site. One walks
down into a moat and hears all sorts of weird sounds. It is a one-time
experience that need not be repeated, nor would one want to. In summary,
the parc was designed not with people in mind but with architectural
post-modern fashion and the architectural press in mind. For a humane,
highlyh successful park, go see the new glory of Paris, Parc Citroen, in
the southwest of the city. It is filled with people, has a wonderful sense
of containment--it is a place-- and architectural design of the highest
quality that is both original and reflects the best of French landscape
tradition. This is people affirming design. Perhaps we should call it
The New Humanism, and bury the conceits of Post-Modernism once and for
all. (Parc Citroen is described in a recent issue of Landscape Architecture.).
Dave Johnson, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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