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Burgundy cover of 'Ricardo Bofill, Les Années françaises/The French Years', by Editions Norma.

Ricardo Bofill

Les Années françaises/The French Years

By (author) Dominique Serrell
By (author) Michele Champenois


  • Ricardo Bofill played a leading role in the development of new towns in France from 1972 to 1985
  • This publication presents his projects that were as striking as they were controversial
Full Description

Renowned in Europe as an avant-garde architect in the 1970s, the Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill was called to the French stage following the destruction of Les Halles de Baltard in 1971. Called upon to compete in 1974, the architect attempted to revive the historic forms of Parisian architecture and urban planning. Rejected in April 1978 after more than 3 years of projects and models by Jacques Chirac, the first mayor of Paris, who preferred a neutral and less monumental architecture, Bofill nevertheless played a leading role in the development of new towns in France from 1972 to 1985, with projects that were as striking as they were controversial: These included Abraxas in Marne-la-Vallée, Le Lac in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Place Majeure in Cergy-le-Haut and the Antigone district of Montpellier.

Designed as a fully illustrated diary describing the close relationship between architecture and politics under Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and François Mitterand, this book is the first to look back at the emblematic Les Halles project, which is covered by a confidentiality clause until the architect’s death in 2021. Through the accounts of witnesses from the time – Jack Lang, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, Paul Chemetov, Roland Catro – and the Taller archives, the author describes Bofill’s prodigious rise to superstar status, and the importance of architecture, which was at the centre of everyone’s conversations at the time.

Text in English and French.

About the Author

Dominique Serrell directed the Taller de Arquitectura Ricardo Bofill in France from 1975 to 1983. She was at the heart of the Les Halles project, as well as most of the Taller's projects in France. In 1983, she set up the Terres Nuages agency, which assists a number of now internationally renowned designers in their career development, including Andrée Putman, Olivier Gagnère, Elizabeth Garouste, Eric Schmitt, Sylvain Dubuisson and Christian Louboutin. Michèle Champenois is a journalist and architecture and design critic. At Le Monde, she covered current affairs in these fields in the weekend magazines from the 1980s onwards, then at Le Monde 2 from 2004 to 2009. Her books include Andrée Putman, ambassadrice du style (Skira Flammarion, 2010), Olivier Gagnère (2015) and Marc Held. 50 ans de design (2014).

Editions Norma
9th Apr 2024
USA & Canada
6.3 in x 9.06 in
408 Pages
400 color
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