20th century architecture
Recent architectural production represents a real contribution for society that it is important to preserve and enhance, while accompanying its adaptation, its requalification and its transformation, to inscribe it in the long time of the city.
Today, this abundant and diverse production is facing important transformations: the end of a first life cycle coincides with strong, sometimes contradictory, imperatives in terms of sustainable development and urban renewal.
Since the period has been particularly productive, there have been many achievements, some of which are exemplary. Apart from the historical value of some, they may have qualities of use, innovations in technical or constructive terms or for ensembles, remarkable landscape or urban qualities. Awareness and recognition of these heritage features is recent and needs to be strengthened.
This is why the knowledge and the valorization of the recent architectural heritage is one of the major axes of the architecture policy of the Ministry of Culture. This is the purpose of axis B of the National Strategy for Architecture (SNA), which reaffirmed the need to raise awareness and develop knowledge of architecture by the general public and construction stakeholders, as well as the policy of labeling remarkable contemporary architecture carried out by the ministry for 20 years.
Several background studies have been conducted since the late 2000s on major developments and subdivisions. Two works are the result of this research, and a series of further monographs on a selection of outstanding large ensembles is being published.
An annual call for projects to support research in architecture around these themes has also been organized since 2016, at the research laboratories of the National Graduate Schools of Architecture: architecture of the XXe century, project material for the sustainable city of the XXIe century. It aims to develop conceptual and technical tools for the adaptation, transformation, restoration and valorization of recent architectures. Teams are strongly encouraged to work on the operational nature of their research and the transferability of their results to professional circles.
With this operational objective in mind, the architecture department also wishes to disseminate and illustrate its expertise by means of a mechanism for exploiting best practices in existing interventions, as well as strengthening its working methods with project promoters, whether they are institutional (National Agency for Urban Renewal, other ministries) or public or private project owners (local authorities, social donors, private owners).
This is notably the purpose of the National Committee «Architecture contemporaine remarquable», which offers to the ministries and institutions responsible for the public policies concerned, in the middle of the project management, the project management and various experts, a space for exchanges to share a diagnosis around these issues and to generate a consensus on good practices.