a 'wholeness' with the overall urban texture. Surprisingly, however, this coherence is derived from the classical canon rather than the anti-classical modernist rules from which the antecedent design elements of the project are derived. It is achieved. Kollhoff argues, 'through Schinkel's principle of relationship of axes, in spite of the repeated fragmentation'. In particular, Kollhoff sees the curved wall 'together with the Schloss. the Schinkel Pavilion and the bridge (forming) a signet-like constellation', in the spirit of the 19th century.

Kollhoff's general principles of urban design reflected in this project assume a highly contextual, quasi-critical regionalist character, more concerned with the local, longue durée, deep continuities and the site's quality of place than the IBA's appeals to tradition.

Kollhoff considers a building to be more than just an object; to him, it is a structure 'that implies a very different notion of living in a city'. This point of view is realized, in the Luisenplatz project, in 'the way the apartment opens to the sun and to the castle and its garden', in the possibility 'of private expression in the facade in spite of its elegant and reserved' character, in the allocation 'of a continuous, generous porch". It is in these respects that this project offers specific alternatives beyond the essentially nostalgic approach of most of the IBA buildings.

(Above) View of tho building and surroundings

(Opposite) Axonometrie drawing of the buildings and site

Myrto VItart (for Jean Nouvel Associés) ONYX CULTURAL CENTRE

(Saint Herblain, France) 1987-88

A parking lot in the midst of a vast void on the remote periphery of the town of Saint HerWair, near Nantes, is the unlikely site on which Myrto Vitart was commissioned to build a 4 storey cultural centre containing a theatre with 354 seats, as well as an exhibition area and three halls for conventions. Despite its relative^ small scale and simple programme, the build ing is significant: what makes it so is the incongruous relation between the building's function and its context.

The centre is balanced on a bordertir* between two radically different environments On the entrance side to the south, it overlook what will eventually become a lush Eder* garden. At the back, to the north, just the opposite: an expanse of empty space, an asphalt desert. Beyond the huge. 10 hectare. V-shaped parking lot whose distant sharp point sinks beneath the surface of a miragelike body of water, the only signs of life area colossal hypermarket (by Richard Rogers)and gigantic factory warehouses that seer, dwarfed in the distance. The topography of the site seems transposed from Wim Wenders Pahs. Texas.

Rather than try to dissimulate or camouflage the surroundings consecrated to the cult of the car and mass consumption. Vitart has chosen to confront them. This contextual response

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(Opposito) Plans and section of the ONYX Centre

(Above) Interior view with staircase

(Opposite, bottom right) Exterior seen from the north

(Below) Perspective view of the site from the lako

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