Architecture and nature

With his book Green Architecture (2000), the architect and theorist James Wines calls the attention of his peers to the ecological disasters related to the building industry. Going beyond a mere environmentalist criticism, he formulates the need to produce a universal message, a “green” aesthetic that presents itself as a true communicative iconography.

Many projects featured in the FRAC Centre collection deal with the subjects of ecology, landscapes, and biomimetism, and highlight the narrow link between the idea of nature and artistic and architectural research. Indeed, natural shapes, from the eggshell to the seashell, from tree to flower, have often been a source of inspiration for many artists and architects. If the proximity between creation and nature adds to the poetic power of the architectural works and projects, creators have often pushed the analogy beyond the shapes themselves to model their creative processes on those of nature. Natural shapes are greatly motivated by the laws that govern their appearance and evolution. By trying to extend these principles to human creation, architects tend to encourage a renewal and profusion of architectural forms that harmonise with their environment. Among these principles, the appearance and disappearance of shapes, and the growth and rhythm of plants are what caught the attention of many an architect. Adapted to architecture, these mechanisms give a glimpse of a new definition of our habitat, which is no longer seen as enduring and unchanging, but as something that follows the idea of evolution and cycles. These architects tend to conceive an architecture that changes shapes, evolves, appears or disappears as time passes and the needs of humankind vary.

Shigeru Ban Paper Log House, Kobe 1995
Chanéac Cellules amphores 1973
Chanéac Villes cratères 1963
CLOUD 9 (Enric Ruiz-Geli) New York Aquarium 2006
Hernan Diaz Alonso Busan Multipurpose Concert Hall 2004
David Georges Emmerich Empilements s. d.
MARC FORNES & THEVERYMANY™ nonLin/Lin Pavilion 2010
David Greene (Archigram) Living Pod 1965-1966
Haus-Rucker-Co Pneumacosm 1967-1968
Pascal Häusermann Cellules plastiques 1968-1969
Pascal Häusermann Cellules plastiques 1960
Jakob + MacFarlane Les Turbulences, FRAC Centre, Orléans 2006
Kengo Kuma Bamboo House 2000
Ugo La Pietra Recupero e reinvenzione 1975
New-Territories (S/he) Growing Up, Maison dans les arbres, Compiègne 1994
New-Territories (S/he) Port-abri et Aménagement, Sainte-Rose, Ile de la Réunion 1998
NOX (Lars Spuybroek) Fresh H2O, Pavillon de l'Eau douce, Waterland Neeltje Jans, Zeeland 1994
ONL [Oosterhuis_ Lénárd] Saltwater Pavilion, Neeltje Jans Zeeland 1997
Dominique Perrault Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris 1989
Gianni Pettena Ice House 1972
Gianni Pettena La Mia Casa all'Elba, Vitticio, Île d'Elbe 1978
Gianni Pettena Tumbleweed Catcher 1972
Gianni Pettena Tumbleweed Catcher 1972
Ricardo Porro Jardin du Paradis, Villa Ispahan 1975
Arthur Quarmby House and Garden 1964
Guy Rottier Maison évolutive "escargot" 1965
Guy Rottier Maison en terre stabilisée "serpent " 1965
Ionel Schein Maison tout en plastiques, Salon des Arts ménagers, Paris 1956-1997
SITE (James Wines) Forest Building, BEST, Richmond, Virginie 1978
SITE (James Wines) Highrise of Homes 1981
Tezuka Architects Roof House, Hatano, Kanagawa 2001