Dominique Perrault

Dominique-Perrault©Domus-China.jpgDominique Perrault. Image © Domus-China

By Martin Søberg

Dominique Perrault's place-making effort sprouts from sets of actions that indicate links between conceptual thinking and material manipulation: to accompany, add, extend, generate, metamorphose, subtract, or unite. Applying such rules connects Perrault's mesmerizing architecture with the investigations and aesthetic expressions of Minimal and Land Art.

Leading French architect Dominique Perrault (b. 1953) designs environments for contemporary living and working. Buildings, which shelter from climatic effects but also frame, mirror and thus reinterpret our bodies in new spatial relations. To Perrault, architecture is less targeted at staging historical references and overly formal symbolic signification. It is moreover a matter of adapting to and challenging physical conditions, to transform the existing urban tissue. No clear lines of division are drawn between nature and culture. All environments to which human beings relate are perceived as artificial and adaptable for construction.

From its offices in Paris, Geneva, and Madrid, Dominique Perrault Architecture designs buildings, infrastructure, urban planning schemes, and furniture. Projects, in which materials such as glass, steel, and concrete are combined and transformed into architectural visions of a contemporary world. The metallic mesh is a signature material element in Dominique Perrault Architecture's practice and research. It epitomizes a design philosophy in which architecture is conceived as a weaving process: concurrently repetitive and hard, flexible and responsive to its surroundings.

The process of generating architectural designs is often integrated in the final results. While many of Dominique Perrault's projects have simple geometric shapes as a starting point, in particular the box, this doesn't imply that the buildings appear as dull or cause indifference. Rather the contrary, Perrault's architecture displays how emotional impact may stem from the simplest confrontations between forms, materials, ideas, and contexts.

Dominique Perrault Architecture has won international acclaim with such significant projects as the French National Library in Paris (1989-95), the Velodrome and Olympic Swimming Pool in Berlin (1992-97/98), and the EWHA Womans University in Séoul (2004-8). Perrault was awarded the French National Grand Prize for Architecture in 1993, the Mies van der Rohe prize in 1997, the Grande Médaille d'or d'Architecture from the Académie d'Architecture in 2010, and became an Officer of the French Legion of Honour in 2013.

Visit Dominique Perrault Architecture's website here.

April 24, 2017 /

New Mechanics Hall - ME Building
Dominique Perrault
Lausanne, Switzerland

Science is the essence of the ME building. Using industrial components and data processing technologies, while preserving the circulation network and the structural grid established by the original master plan, the mechanics hall is a new milestone in the history of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne campus.

March 12, 2014 /

DC Tower 1
Dominique Perrault
Vienna, Austria

French superstar architect Dominique Perrault is the man behind Vienna’s new landmark showcasing Perrault’s trademark use of big shapes and simple geometry. Named DC Tower 1 due to it’s location in Danube City and its status as one of a pair (the twin building remains on the drawing board) the building reaches a height of 250 meters and 60 floors making it the tallest skyscraper in Austria and a sign of Vienna's increasingly desperate ambition to re-shape Danube City.

October 01, 2013 /

Fukoku Tower
Dominique Perrault
Osaka, Japan

Situated at the exit of Osaka’s main train station in an area teeming with tall glass buildings, Fukoku Tower designed by French superstar architect Dominique Perrault for a Japanese insurance firm might seem inconspicuous at first. Just one out of many. When approaching from street level, however, you will see it slowly dissolving into fragments smaller and smaller still, like a giant tree taking its roots.

Arganzuela footbridge by Dominique Perrault in Dominique Perrault. Inside view.
Photo © Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost / DPA / Adagp
December 05, 2011 /

Arganzuela footbridge
Dominique Perrault
Madrid, Spain

Forming a major element in the new urban strategy for the city named "Madrid Rio", the Arganzuela Footbridge is already called "the jewel of the Rio" by the residents.

Photo © Georges Fessy / DPA / Adagp
Dominique Perrault - Olympic Tennis Center - Exterior
April 26, 2010 /

Olympic Tennis Center
Dominique Perrault
Madrid, Spain

The Olympic Tennis Center is located in a former slum housing area in the middle of a busy motorway and train network.

July 07, 2003 /

Opera House Mariinsky II
Dominique Perrault
Saint Petersburg, Russia

Dominique Perrault and his team won the international competition to design the new building for the Mariinsky Theater; the first major work of modern architecture to be built in the imperial capital.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France by Dominique Perrault in Paris, France. Exterior.
Photo courtesy Dominique Perrault
May 04, 2000 /

Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Dominique Perrault
Paris, France

"The grands projects of President of the Republic, François Mitterrand, are all closely associated with a site and history; in short, a place with a name."

Olympic Velodrome and Swimmingpool by Dominique Perrault in Berlin, Germany. Top view
Photo courtesy Dominique Perrault Architecte
January 06, 2000 /

Olympic Velodrome and Swimmingpool
Dominique Perrault
Berlin, Germany

This project is bound up with the reunification of the two Germanies. It is related to the wish of a city, Berlin, about to become the capital, to be nominated for the Olympic Games of the year 2000.

Ewha Woman’s University by Dominique Perrault in Seoul, South Korea. Exterior view. 
Photo © Andre Morin
January 04, 2000 /

Ewha Woman’s University
Dominique Perrault
Seoul, South Korea

The complexity of the site, through its relationship to the greater campus and the city of Shinchon, demanded a "larger than site" response, an urban response, a global landscaped solution, weaving together the tissue of the EWHA campus with that of the city.

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