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Why attend MIPIM, the international property market event, which was held in Cannes from 14 to 16 March 2017? What would an industrial do among these investors and property developers from all over the world? Are discussions not more focused on money, investments and programmes than architecture and ecology?

Read more: MIPIM 2017: my first time there!

 

Thanks to Vieille Montagne, zinc appeared in the middle of the 19th century. And just a few decades later, it had become a core product for a rigorous professional community: that of roofers. This is the thrust of what Mr. Jean-Marie Tong reminded me of a few weeks ago. Mr. Tong is a marvellous, highly skilled Belgian roofer and major zinc specialist (only VMZINC!), but also a fine connoisseur of the Vieille Montagne company’s history in Liège.

Read more: “Simply having a strategy is not enough: you need to have a raison d’être”

 

On 1 March, the 39th edition of the prestigious Pritzker prize – the equivalent of the Nobel for architects – was awarded to Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta, a trio of Spanish architects who have been working together since 1988. “Their work demonstrates a flawless commitment to places and their history, and creates spaces that connect with their context” said Tom Pritzker, son of the prize’s founder.

Read more: 2017 Pritzker Prize: awarded for the first time to a trio!

 

Over the last three years, a movement – which was originally spontaneous and not co-organised – began in three European countries to commemorate the history and heritage of Vieille Montagne zinc. For various reasons, I became involved in this wonderful initiative. Let me tell you how and why.

Read more: European commemoration of Vieille Montagne: the story continues!

 

The Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who died on 31 March 2016, was also, and above all, a huge artist. This was revealed by the magnificent exhibition that ended last Sunday at the Serpentine Sacker Gallery in London, entitled “Zaha Hadid Early Paintings and Drawings”.

Read more: Zaha Hadid’s early paintings and drawings

 

A conference at the Institute for Ecoresponsible Design of Buildings (ICEB), on 23 January at the Maison de l’Architecture in the 10th arrondissement of Paris provided me with an opportunity to review a subject previously discussed in one of my Posts last year: BIM or Building Information Modelling, a global integrated process that is decisive for the evolution of our construction professions

Read more: BIM: 20% technique, 80% human

 

My extreme zinc section is yet again transporting us to the other side of the world. This superb single-family house was built in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island, close to Queenstown. It is in this breathtaking preserved region, evocative of the origin of the world, that director Peter Jackson filmed his famous “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Read more: Extreme Zinc Saga: The (big) house in the prairie!

 

Innovation cannot be decreed. It is the result of a deliberate approach that involves all areas of expertise in a company. This is demonstrated by Arnaud Peters, a young Doctor in History at the University of Liège and probably one of the best European specialists in the history of metallurgy of non-ferrous metals, in his book entitled “La VIEILLE MONTAGNE – Innovations et mutations dans l’industrie de zinc” (La VIEILLE MONTAGNE – Innovations and mutations in the zinc industry) published by Editions de la Province de Liège, which details the innovation processes deployed at the Société des Mines et Fonderies de zinc de la Vieille Montagne between 1806 and 1873!

Read more: Innovation is in our DNA

 

Janvier
Pritzker price 2016 : Alejandro Aravena

Read more: Construction/architecture: my 2016 retrospective

 

The great gamble for Greater Paris

On 6 December last, I had the pleasure and privilege of participating in the annual conference of the Alliance des Minerais, Minéraux et Métaux – Alliance of Ores, Minerals and Metals (A3M), which took place in the superb premises of CCI* Ile-de-France on avenue de Friedland in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.

Read more: The great gamble for Greater Paris