André Bloc

Pavillon du Plâtre, 1965

In order to demonstrate to the public the original applications of plaster, in 1965 the Batimat show asked André Bloc to design the Pavillon du plâtre at the Palais du CNIT, in Paris. His unstable yet harmonious architecture was marked by the chaotic stacking of cubic blocks, supported by two imposing parallelepipeds. At the center, a corridor opens onto two interior spaces:  an audiovisual gallery where the filmed history of plaster is projected and a patio where the many applications of the material were on display. This work on the cube was a return to his research on the “n” dimension of his sculptures composed of brass stems but especially to his studies on the distribution of volumes. Employed in an architectural dimension, the tilted masses of the Pavillon du Plâtre also evoked the interpenetration of broken volumes Bloc experimented with in his religious edifices (with Claude Parent between 1955 and 1962) as well as certain Sculptures habitacles. If the Pavillon du Plâtre departs from the fluidity of the organic lines of several architectural projects designed by the sculptor during the same period, it also affirms the physical dimension of a fundamental architecture that was part of its times and in movement: contrary to the obvious readability of the functionalist grid, the pavilion invites the visitor to walk through it to grasp its multidimensionality.

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