Ricardo Porro & Renaud de la Noue


Ricardo Porro settled in France in 1966, and became associated in 1986 with the French architect Renaud de la Noue. Together, they produced numerous public projects, especially in Saint-Denis, one more spectacular than the last. Driven by a vitalist inspiration, the buildings of Porro & de la Noue mainly proposed natural evocations, and vegetable and animal metaphors. So for the Collège Elsa Triolet in Saint-Denis (1987-1990), the shape of a moving dove determines the plan and the organization of the functions, with its two-coloured wings placing the classroom under their protection. Porro & de la Noue also built housing units at Stains and developed an urban renewal project (Chaudron, La Plaine Saint Denis, 1990-94).  Persuaded by the dramatic effect that architecture can assume (in 1981, Porro had designed a housing project in Calais evoking the theme of the Apocalypse in referring to the figures in Picasso’s famous work Guernica), the architects organized nothing less than a mise-en-scène for the Caserne des Gardes Républicains de Vélizy, (1997-99). In reinterpreting the theme of the historical battle and drawing inspiration from the famous Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello (1456-1460), behind a forest of huge lances they depicted soldiers perched on horses, in a dynamic clash.

Renaud de la Noue (1956) obtained his degree in architecture in 1984 and embarked on his career with the mission of the Institut Français d’Archéologie du Proche-Orient (IFAPO). It was on his return from Jordan in 1986 that he met Ricardo Porro (1925-2014). Their association would give rise to many projects in the Paris region, including colleges, housing, and university residences, as well as a barracks for the CRS riot police, projects which would be published in France and abroad.

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