Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Local Architects Go To Paris

Santa Monica architects Morphosis won the international competition launched by Paris über-property owner Unibail, to build what will be the tallest office tower in the city's business district of La Défense.
Called "Phare", the building will occupy the site between the CNIT and the Grande Arche, and will be 300 meters tall. A far cry from the 800-meter giants planned elsewhere in the world, but a grand projet by Paris standards. Conceived as an "organic object", it will combine flexibility and energy-efficient features, thus reflecting Morphosis' environmental philosophy.
Phare's design and innovation perfectly illustrate the evolution of architecture, as seen in MOCA's current exhibit Skin & Bones. Its grace and fluidity are a welcome departure from the postmodern mastodontes that have disfigured our cities for too long.

Though the project was acclaimed in the international media, there is no mention of it in L.A.'s local press. Rather shocking, considering its high profile, and the fact that Morphosis founder Thom Mayne received the prestigious Pritzker Architectural Prize last year.
[edit 12/19/06: NYT on Thom Mayne/Phare]
illustrations Morphosis