Paris’s Next Readymade: A Wood Pallet Facade by Stephane Malka
March 6, 2012
Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Inception may have left many with stitched brows and confused looks, but entangled meta-reveries aside, few could forget the scenes of Paris dissolving, rebuilding, and folding in on itself. French architect Stephane Malka has imagined a similar vision of architectural flux, but one brought to life through the pragmatic re-appropriation of wooden shipping pallets. More after the break.
For a recently completed study for a student residence in Paris, Malka has envisioned a building sheathed in a skin composed of modular wooden pallets. According to Domus, Malka’s proposed façade is a lattice of wooden pallets connected with horizontal hinges, which allow for the extension and contraction of the pallets. The pallets thus function like large shutters, opening and closing for privacy, but arranged to inform the overall geometry of the exterior, which becomes charged with a dramatic sense of movement. Though decidedly modern in appearance, the somewhat archaic materiality of the façade introduces the spectacular synchronization of decay and rebirth evocative of drawings by Lebbeus Woods.
But as Malka told Domus, the project champions new approaches to ecological design above all else. “The real ecological combat is within the reappropriation of materials and experimentations with ready-made objects,” he says, “the real environmental approach consists not in destruction, but in superimposing interventions upon our built heritage.” And for a city with such a rich built heritage, the intervention, which eschews the increasingly banal fluidity of steel and glass, seems particularly apt.