Alliance Francaise

Lino magazine
Publication Type:
Lino magazine
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Counter-project for the design of the new Alliance Francaise Building, 257 Clarence Street, Sydney Images & story published in Lino magazine (Issue No.17, 2007) This project is a personal initiative and a counter-project. Being an Architect, French and living in Sydney, it would be difficult not to have the desire to develop a design for the Alliance Française in Sydney even though this new building has been designed by renown architect Harry Seidler. How does one live a language, a language which, in all its manifestations, represents a common denominator and entry point into the depths of a culture? The guiding concept for this project was to enable a language to be physically experienced: a walk through its depths, into the layers of knowledge and through the folds of memory. Roland Barthes wrote that language appears as an explosion, as dissemination and that it is a path as well as a crossing. It is this vein that the project was conceptualized. Rather than presenting a reassuring image of a mechanical language, the idea was to materialise its complexity: rules, syntax, articulation, exceptions, nuances, meaning, signs, figures of speech, interpretation, trope, poetry, ambiguity, quotation, echo, disappearance, alteration, compression etc. Using these linguistic devices, it is therefore possible to reconstruct an architectural topology that aims to establish links between the voluntarily disseminated elements. This constructed environment is thus a network of links that enables a multitude of entry points and paths for the public. The building IS language enveloped in language.
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