For the architect and engineer David Georges Emmerich, construction is an “activity of assembly,” which places the idea of the primary unity of architectural form in crisis as much as it refutes it: “All construction by definition is the contrary of a monolith: an ensemble, which is necessarily organized by means of a multitude of elements all linked together in one single system.” Emmerich’s research led to the structural breakdown of form into a crystal network of polyhedral solids whose assembly results from its own internal logic. Therefore, the surface is no longer just a screen, a stretched canvas between segments, of which it reveals the organization. Considering the cube as a “poor structural arrangement,” Emmerich preferred the possibilities offered by more complex basic modules. Thus, he increased his stereometric experimentations by combining several polyhedrons according to different logics in order to study their topological and morphogenetic laws. Emmerich then applied his research to certain construction projects, in order to provide modular polyhedral compartments suspended from a tensegrity structure (Les Bateaux-mouches, 1970; Tête Défense, 1986).

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