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        • Economy and Excess
          Three Recent Projects by Lacaton & Vassal

        Abstract
        With the PLUS project the French architecture firm Lacaton & Vassal investigate improvement proposals for apartments in the notorious French banlieues. Whereas existing plans are consistently based on large-scale demolition and restructuring, Lacaton & Vassal’s outlook is characterized by thinking from the smallest unit in the existing structures. In their view, the quality of life of residents is most improved when their immediate living environment – the apartments themselves – is refurbished. Lacaton & Vassal’s strategy is based on a specific concept of luxury that turns the modernist concept of minimumexistenz on its head and endeavours instead to provide a surplus of living space. In this article, Tom Vandeputte discusses three projects recently designed by the firm: the architecture school in Nantes, the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, developed in early 2007, and their recent design for a library in Angoulême. Vandeputte tests the ideals of the PLUS project in practice and in particular reveals how ‘coincidences’ play a large part in the design and execution process.
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        Citation
        Vandeputte, T. (2011). Economy and Excess. Three Recent Projects by Lacaton & Vassal. Productive Uncertainty. Indeterminacy in Spatial Design, Planning and Management, OASE, (85), 101–110. Retrieved from https://www.oasejournal.nl/en/Issues/85/EconomyAndExcess

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