Pierre-Yves Graffe

French registered architect - FDL Architecture associate

Pierre-Yves Graffe Picture?

October 1996 – June 2000-----------Ecole d’Architecture de Bretagne, France.
September 2000 – June 2001--------Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
Septembre 2001 – July 2004 ------- Ecole d’Architecture de Paris la Villette, France.
March 2003 – March 2004 -----------Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea.
12 July 2004--------------------------Graduation Ecole d’Architecture de Paris la Villette, France.
Since Septembre 2008 --------------Architectural Association – MA Housing and Urbanism

Developing countries are facing a urban cataclysm, demographic explosions, cities are emerging everywhere from nowhere in a very short period of time, politicians and planners are providing visions of territories that need to constantly be adjusted and updated.
China will have to manage a rural exodus of 400 millions farmers before 2020 and the rising prices in the real estate market makes the situation very complicated for them. What will be the size of a standard apartment? How big will the building be and how many buildings will be copy/pasted? How large will the development be and how can we preserve social community in such a growing density? What kind of public spaces can come out of an ultra rationalized master plan? What is the political influence compared to the power of the developers? I consider these questions highly critical not only in China but in every emerging country.
I want to participate in the research about housing densities and to develop ideas that can improve urban design and dynamically generate new urban typologies.
Exploration and investigation is exactly what I am looking for to compare and contrast different cities, their urban fabrics and to be able to propose alternative solutions in urban planning processes.

Hutongscraper Project

Confrontation of two urban scales.
In: the traditional substance and romance of Beijing’s Hutongs, their networks of courtyards and lanes, impressive for their intimacy and versatility.
Out: the consequences of an over-planned development: spiritless and anonymous urban blocks.

“All characteristic elements of a city are the totality of memories and imagination of the people” Maurice Halwaches

Beijing is a spread-out territory. Beijing is horizontal; historically a large composition of small lanes, alleys, paths and dead-ends where we experience intergeneration paths and social spaces.

Circulation areas=community areas.

‘Hutong’ second etymological meaning comes from the water well, the gathering point in every community.
Hutongs develop a multitude of different typologies, creating a vast range of ambiances in linear sequences. Street width variations help to generate informal piazzas, seating corners, chatting areas and game zones etc… where Chinese people’s social life is very active.
Unfortunately, within hyper compact rationalized cities, these sequences and social tissues disappear.

Verticality of maximum concentration and horizontality of maximum distribution is the most sterile chapter of modernization. It is leading us to an intellectual void partly of our own making. Ultimately, the search for alternative forms of co-existence in the urban grid’s regeneration is urgent. Self –organization, social / communal independence versus the overwhelming hegemonic market-driven political system.
The question is how can this crisis and urgency be provoked: the reinterpretation of the past and actual characteristics of Beijing, re-injected into the cityscape. ‘Highly-efficient’ structures embodied by the flamboyantly ‘modern’ skyscrapers are deconstructed and urban life re-plugged onto the street level.

This desire exists for Beijing’s inhabitants, its history; its base.
Horizontality is forced to create a tower against the definition of verticality.
Spectacular actions are the re-introduction of formal urban fragments taken from still existing popular hutongs. This secular city is not gone yet.
Hybridization emerges from the lanes’ histories, the stratification of generations linked by the voids: where the attention is on self-organising social, cultural and even economic constantly transforming spaces.
It is a re-composition of vernacular notions.
This project is read through the veins of the city, it is perpetually alive in motion. It keeps growing.

Owned by Pierre-Yves Graffe / Added by Pierre-Yves Graffe / 9.5 years ago / 1792 hits / 17 minutes view time



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