Conférence “Euralille: The Deconstruction of the European City” – Valéry Didelon – Berlage Institute à Delft (NL) – 4 novembre 2016

euralilleConférence “Euralille: The Deconstruction of the European City” – Valéry Didelon 

Lieu : Berlage Institute à Delft (NL)

Date : 4 novembre 2016

Abstract : Rem Koolhaas is nowadays a preeminent architect but he was first of all an urbanist, and not only a paper one. Following a series of noteworthy designs, his project for Euralille, a large business district for a middle size city in the north of France, was brought to completion between 1989 and 1995. In the context of the European integration process he came up with the hypothesis that Lille will become the center of a virtual community of 50 millions people. Implementing the culture of congestion he described ten years before in Delirious New York Rem Koolhaas and OMA conceived an astonishing but generic landscape that has certainly propelled the city in its radical future. Looking at the simultaneity of the completion of Euralille and of the publication of two seminal essays – Bigness and What Ever Happened to Urbanism – this lecture will show how Rem Koolhaas proposed at the time a new urbanism which was meant to challenge the one of the neotraditionalist architects. As we will see, through its built and written manifestoes Rem Koolhaas shook the hegemonic doxa of the Reconstruction of the European City and draw criticism for that. In this respect, the controversy that has surrounded Euralille will be discuss here as a key moment in the history of postmodern urbanism.

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