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March 12 2014

La Poste du Louvre: A Building in Paris, France that Demands Special Classification

March 12th, 2014Posted by 

La Poste du Louvre’s austere façades are emblematic of an architectural rationalism unique to France. Julien Guadet, student of the famed Henri Labrouste, designed the building. As a studio director at École des Beaux-Arts for more than thirty years, Guadet was the author of Elements and Theory of Architecture which served as a bible for […]

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March 10 2014

A New Urban Park for Foch Avenue in Paris, France?

March 10th, 2014Posted by 

The designers for a proposed development on Foch Avenue, the Constructions et Développements urbains (CDU) company and the architectural firm Hamonic, Masson, and Associates, summarized the birth of their project with the following words: “Everything started with a gut-feeling. While smoking a cigarette outside of a restaurant in Paris’ 16th arrondissement during a summer night […]

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March 05 2014

Sustainable Development: 100% Self-sufficient Buildings in Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France

March 5th, 2014Posted by 

After having covered some rather outrageous projects in this blog, let’s focus on a more realistic undertaking. The project in question is a partnership for research and development that was signed in January by Bouygues Construction and the city of Grenoble ordering the construction of a block of multi-unit apartment buildings. This experimental project, set […]

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March 03 2014

River Transport in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

March 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Two new river transport companies will soon begin business in Abidjan to compete with the Abidjan Transport Company (SOTRA). SOTRA still holds a monopoly in the country’s economic capital four months after the Ivorian government announced plans to liberalize the transportation sector. According to the Ivorian minister Gaoussou Touré, this measure should “put an end to […]

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February 26 2014

Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, A New Hope

February 26th, 2014Posted by 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… the dark side ruled over a city on the coast of the Mediterranean. But that was a long time ago. Redefining the Imaginary Marseille has since rebelled, and its role as the European Capital of Culture has inspired a new hope. Despite also being a […]

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February 24 2014

Coming Soon to Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Easy-to-Read Street Names

February 24th, 2014Posted by 

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to read street names in Montreal? The white signs bearing street names are sometimes hidden. They are so small that while driving it is necessary to come to a near stop at street corners to make out what they say. The city of Montreal recognizes the problem […]

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February 19 2014

Heating l’Enfant-Jésus Hospital of Quebec City, Canada with Supercomputers

February 19th, 2014Posted by 

In a series of articles published last year by Érick Rivard, various situations that could take advantage of the expansion of the Enfant-Jésus Hospital in our neighborhood were suggested. The Siberian cold hitting our neighborhood this winter has inspired me to talk about a different idea: heating the hospital with supercomputers! In hospitals a substantial […]

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February 17 2014

Constructing Infrastructure, a Catalyst for Development in Brazzaville, The Republic of the Congo

February 17th, 2014Posted by 

The Congolese capital of Brazzaville hosted the Build Africa Forum from February 6 to 7th, 2014. The opening ceremony took place under the patronage of the President of the Republic, Denis Sassou Nguesso, in a hall of the city’s exposition center where the former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and other officials were also in attendance. […]

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February 12 2014

The Electric Bicycle is Taking off in Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées, France

February 12th, 2014Posted by 

The electric bicycle is doing quite well in Toulouse. Especially for a form of sustainable transportation that appeared not so long ago. The proof: an additional branch of “La Bicyclette Electrique,” a business specializing in electric bicycles, is set to open its doors in the heart of Toulouse’s downtown in March 2014, taking the place […]

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February 10 2014

Recycling and Construction: Thoughts from Algeria

February 10th, 2014Posted by 

In the Maghreb, like elsewhere, the image projected by the use of recycled materials for construction is negative because it is synonymous with shantytowns, precarious living conditions, poverty, squalor, etc. However, several remarkable experiments in building with recycled materials have been carried out in recent years, mostly in the United States. Michael Reynolds with his […]

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February 05 2014

Contesting the Renovation of the Historic Poste Centrale in Paris, France

February 5th, 2014Posted by 

Even though the Poste Centrale of Louvre Street is not found within the area usually covered by the “Vivre Le Marais!” blog, the restoration of the largest distribution center for mail in France is important. The project, entrusted to the architect Dominique Perrault in 2012, is rather illustrative of the difficulties that arise between contracting authorities (the Groupe La […]

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February 03 2014

The Historic Revenge of Workers’ Neighborhoods in Bergerac, Aquitaine, France

February 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Since mid-December 2013, Saint James street has donned some new finery, worthy of the diversity of its architectural heritage. It shows with the new gateway to the historic downtown area, at the exit of the street and the Saint Jacques Church. Good taste is not necessarily unheard of as far as urban development is concerned. […]

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January 29 2014

Demolition? Approaching Demolition in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France

January 29th, 2014Posted by 

Demolition, as anyone will agree, is never an end in itself. Resorting to this rather violent measure requires at the very least a serious assessment, a plan, and a method. The diagnostic itself must investigate several domains. The urban dimension should be assessed through analyzing the features in play on-site and in the surroundings, and […]

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January 27 2014

The Modern Algerian Architect – Nothing More than an Underling?

January 27th, 2014Posted by 

In Algeria, it is a nearly unanimous observation that the country’s architectural output is mediocre. This opinion also occurs at the highest levels of the government, considering that in 2006, the President of Algeria himself commented negatively upon “the inadequacy and repetitive nature of the majority of architectural output.” We could legitimately place the blame […]

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January 22 2014

Bike Paths and the City of the Future, from London to Montreal

January 22nd, 2014Posted by 

I am a fan of the graphic novel series Les Cités obscures by Schuiten and Peeters, which depicts life in autonomous, futuristic city-states that are, above all, very strange. But, there is a bit of this fantastic world in the new project by the well-known British architect Norman Foster, who has proposed the creation of […]

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January 20 2014

Community Participation in Sustainable Development in Nantes, Pays de Loire, France

January 20th, 2014Posted by 

Take a bit of sustainable transportation, a dash of accessible pedestrian walkways, green energy, developed waste management, not to mention eco-neighborhoods managed by participatory policies, and you will have a sustainable city. Too simple? Of course, a perfect recipe does not exist, all the more considering that the field is constantly changing. Cities are therefore […]

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January 15 2014

Line B for Biodiversity: Installing a New Metro Line in Rennes, Brittany, France

January 15th, 2014Posted by 

What kind of environmental impact will the new B Line of the Rennes Metro have? What kind of “compensatory” measures will be put in place for the local fauna? All throughout the construction site, an ecologist is tasked with the analysis and protection of ecosystems. After civil engineering comes environmental engineering. At the construction site […]

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January 13 2014

Trying to Dethrone the Automobile in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France

January 13th, 2014Posted by 

Ten years after putting the tram network into service and completely reworking the bus system, the results are discouraging. In Grand Bordeaux, two-thirds of transportation is still done in individual automobiles. Here are the reasons for this situation and a few suggestions for improvement. 1. The car has remained king in the urban area Every […]

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January 08 2014

A Light Rail System for Montreal by 2018? Impossible, Say Officials

January 8th, 2014Posted by 

The decision to bring to abandon the timelines set for the future Champlain Bridge is forcing everyone to sit down and go back to the drawing board. The decision made by the committee for a proposed light rail project last Wednesday was just as sudden as it was devastating. They concluded that it is simply […]

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January 06 2014

The Alleys of Quebec City, Canada: Lagging Behind their Montreal Counterparts

January 6th, 2014Posted by 

The program for beautifying the alleys of Quebec City has found little success in Limoilou. There is so little happening that $600,000 of available funds are sitting in the city’s coffers. “The program does not work at all” explained the official responsible for the report, Sonia Ratté, during a recent plenary committee meeting. “The challenge […]

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