© Martin Argyroglo, EPFL (2016), TSAM
Conference: Réparations. La rehabilitation des Tours EDF et d’autres projets
31st October 2016, ARCHIZOOM - Project Room, EPF Lausanne, Switzerland

In the context of the conferences cycle of 2016, Paul Chemetov – architect and co-founder of AUA in Paris – will present ‘Réparations. La rehabilitation des Tours EDF et d’autres projets’ [“Repairs. Rehabilitation EDF tower and other projects”] on Monday 31 October at 18h30 in Lausanne.

“The days of heritage testify the popularity of the earlier buildings from the industrial age, as well as the democratic age. In this climate, the ‘repair’ of contemporary buildings extends the aphorism by Aurelio Galfetti: ‘[to] Preserve is [to] transform’, a proposition that can be reversed.

What it takes to achieve a new intervention is to use identifiable materials and forms which are reversible, without pastiche and can not damage the old state of the building.
This is what the interventions of Paul Chemetov – like the Natural History Museum, the printing house of l’Illustration or the library of Chartre – testify, as well as the rehabilitation of the EDF Tower from Atelier de Montrouge in Ivry-sur-Seine (1967).
Current visitors find these intervened buildings compliant to what they used to be. The architects of the restoration have, somehow, revealed the essential and iconic features.
This is also the case with the intervention of the administrative center of Pantin, which Robain Guieysse converted into a National Dance Centre. The news of Paul Chemetov’s iconic work is good, since most of the time, contemporary buildings are threatened despite their recognition by the label ‘20th Century Heritage’, such as in Saint-Ouen or Les briquet rouges in Vigneux-sur-Seine, or are even destroyed, as has happened in Courcouronnes.

“To console me,” wrote Paul Chemetov, “I quote the house Sterckeman in Avelin which now is listed on the Inventory of Historical Monuments. Recent mishaps in the Grand Arche, however, show that the state does not assume its own modernity … “.

Original text: website [French]