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Spring stroll in the northeast of the capital with the architect-urban planner Philippe Simon, on the occasion of the upcoming release of his “Guide to the archi in Paris”.
Don’t expect anecdotes from him. Nor a great precision on the dates. Nevertheless, our guide is a well of knowledge that he distills without superfluous words, which makes the visit very fascinating, on this Friday afternoon in spring. At 62, Philippe Simon, an architect with a host of hats – state consultant architect in Indre, exhibition curator at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, teacher at the Paris-Val-de-Seine school –, s are preparing to publish a short tourist guide to the capital through its architectural history with Alternatives (owned by Gallimard). In this Guide to architecture in Paris (1), the town planner, coordinator – among other things – of the redevelopment of the ZAC Pajol eco-neighborhood in the 18th arrondissement, offers eight thematic walks that tell, in hollow, the architectural patchwork that is the contemporary city, heritage of urban planning (and political) choices or architectural theories over several decades or even centuries. “What I like about Paris are the collages or the assemblages: Haussmann is very meaningful, but you can’t not reduce all of Paris to Haussmann, poses the architect-researcher, also author of several books. So I’m talking about architecture from all eras.” We borrowed from