Avec André Bloc
Well known for his love of cars, Claude Parent’s interest in the aesthetics of these machines, which have been so inspirational for modern architects since Le Corbusier, dates from a very early stage in his career. In 1960, in the magazine Esthétique industrielle, the young architect assessed the inhabitability, comfort, power and “style” of many of the cars on the market at the time, such as the D.S. 19 and the Austin-Healey Sprite with its streamlined curves. Two years later, at the behest of a magazine published by the Esso Company, he collaborated with the sculptor André Bloc and Jan Lin Viaud, the expert in industrial aesthetics, on designing the car of the future. Each major element (wheels, bumpers, and engine) is highlighted and individualized around a spheroidal passenger compartment inside of which are placed a mobile seat and a triangular block for the dashboard and steering wheel. The plaster model of the Urbaina, which has since disappeared, was exhibited in 1969 at the New Museum of Le Havre in the Espace architectural show, which presented the works developed through the collaboration of André Bloc and Claude Parent and the Architecture Principe group.