Claude Parent

Le Monolithe fracturé, Pavillon français, Biennale de Venise, 1996

Frédéric Migayrou, appointed curator of the French Pavilion for the 5th Mostra di architettura at the Venice Biennale of 1996, chose to present the work of a group of architects on the common theme of the “fractured monolith”, focusing on the two paternal figures of André Bloc and Claude Parent. Through this transversal concept, Frédéric Migayrou sought to define what is specific about French architecture of the post-war period and to reveal its genealogical lineage based on experimentation with a critical relationship to space, one breaking with the principle of the unity of the form. Claude Parent’s Drusch House, which creates fracture in its volume, a monolith balancing the fractured volume of a parallelepiped, is a major example of this new approach to architecture. It is what inspired Frédéric Migayrou to entrust the exterior scenography of the French Pavilion to Parent while asking Odile Decq and Benoît Cornette to take charge of arranging the interior spaces. Claude Parent’s model and drawings reveal how the neo-classical building was transformed, being entirely covered for the occasion by two solid blocks seemingly split in two by a gigantic fault line.

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