agissilaos pangalos and anne feldmann architectes
Urban Tattoo / Ken Saro-Wiwa center of arts
best architects 17
Paris / France
The Ken Saro-Wiwa Center for the Arts is a space dedicated to urban culture, located in the 20th district of Paris. We designed the building as a support for arts, a canvas on which one can draw, spray, paint or intervene in any creative way. Users are invited to not simply occupy the space but redefine and transform it, by leaving their mark, in the manner of tattoos, on the body of the building. The opaque concrete façade enclosing the recording room, on the first level, becomes an ever-changing emblematic canvas as each graffiti artist intervenes to create their vision. The building is an interface between the art produced and performed inside it and the city: an urban scene displaying the different activities interacting to form a diverse but solid ensemble. Opaque and hollow building levels alternate, forming a visual narrative that informs the city about the activities taking place inside the building. The opaque levels enclose all activities pertaining to physical performance and necessitating intimacy. They are introverted and protected from the outside world: the theatre hall (basement), the music and recording rooms (first level), the dance room (third level). The hollow levels offer natural light to activities dedicated to the visual arts while giving them visibility and exposure. They are extroverted and host all activities pertaining to the creation of objects: the visual and fine arts workshops (second level), the main lobby and reception area (street level).