Arquitectura Viva
Saturday, July 04, 2020

A Resilient Urban Model

Pablo Canga

We are witnessing an unprecedented urbanization process. A UN report says that in 2050, two-thirds of humanity will be living in cities. So it’s crucial that we develop instruments for building the cities of the future.

The architects Benoît Jallon and Umberto Napolitano began to research on the urbanism of the Paris of Haussmann. The resulting book, catalog of an exhibition, presents the process of analysis and classification they carried out, covering everything from streets, blocks, and buildings to stylistic components, in a work that seeks to decipher the keys to the success of the Haussmannian model and appraise its continued validity in addressing the challenges of the contemporary city.

The focus is on the compactness of the urban fabric. A clear-cut play of solids and voids results in an unreplicable fractal scheme. Through exhaustive typological and morphological analysis the study presents the extraordinary resilience of the Haussmannian type: the reversibility and flexibility of the blocks and buildings thanks to repetition, the indefinition of structures, free heights, and the position and size of windows, which make the urban system able to react to changes in physical, social, and economic contexts without losing its basic structure. Paris’s urban identity is examined, based on strict segregation of street ‘theater’ from courtyard ‘backstage,’ near-obsessive repetition of the model, and constant interaction between facade and public space. Good writing and illustrations make an urban planning atlas of note.

Benoît Jallon and Umberto Napolitano
Haussmann. Modèle de Ville
Park Books, Zúrich, 2017
263 pages

Arquitectura Viva 207

AV Monografías 225 - AIRES MATEUS AV Monographs
analyzes in each issue a theme related to a city, a country, a tendency or an architect, with articles by leading specialists complemented by commentary on works and projects illustrated in detail. Published bilingually, with Spanish and English texts placed side by side.
Arquitectura Viva 225 - VIDA Y VIRUS Arquitectura Viva
covers current topics, taking stock of recent trends in set sections: cover story, works and projects, art and culture, books, technique and innovation. From 2013 on, monthly and bilingual, with Spanish and English texts printed side by side.
AV Proyectos 98 - FALA AV Proyectos
is the third member of the AV family: a bilingual publication essentially focussed on design projects (with special attention on competitions and construction details), heretofore only laterally dealt with in the other two magazines.
Arquitectura Viva SL - Calle de Aniceto Marinas, 32 - E-28008 Madrid, España - Ph: (+34) 915 487 317 - Fax: (+34) 915 488 191 -
Política de cookies - Aviso Legal - Condiciones de contratación - RSS