Property Influencers: Jacques Ferrier

Buildings without a soul or sense of place have no future in architecture and design, says architect and Property Influencer Jacques Ferrier.

The founder of Jacques Ferrier Architecture is one of the most sought-after architects in Paris. His works now include the design of public buildings, research centres, cultural buildings, offices and housing.

His firm’s output is all based on the same philosophy: the creation of architecture for a sustainable society. Ferrier has also developed innovative research activities in partnership with industrial companies.

His projects, which include the Concept Office and the environmental Hypergreen skyscraper, have contributed to a rethink of the future role of architecture that takes into consideration the challenges represented by megalopolises and the planet’s needs.

Ferrier appeared at MIPIM 2011 (where he was also a jury member on the MIPIM Awards Panel) to discuss the interlinking of architecture, technology and the environment. In an exclusive video interview recorded during the show, he describes some of the challenges and opportunities facing modern architecture and city planning.

According to Ferrier, technology has become a major factor in modern design, with everything from air-conditioning to artificial lighting invading architecture. He says technological innovations and increased technological performance are critical to the future of architecture and design.

“We want the benefit but we don’t want to be surrounded by artefacts which are sort of obstacles to the senses and the relationship between man and space,” he says.

Ferrier’s humanist vision of the future city was brought to life in the “Sensual City”  concept, an urban proposition devised for the French Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010.

He brought this humanist view to MIPIM 2011, where he described two new and contradictory trends shaping the world of architecture: in areas like China, the need for new buildings often creates generic, functional structures with no soul or sense of place. To counteract that, another new trend of fusing design and nature is springing up across Asia, Europe and the Americas. “People are asking more and more to have a mix of architecture and nature. I think that each building has to carry its own landscape,” he says.

Jacques Ferrier will be speaking about “Remodelling Tomorrow’s Cities” at MIPIM Asia 2011 on Wednesday 16 November, 10.00 – 10.45. The conference will look at:

  • how to build cities differently,
  • how cities will face ingoing and outgoing demographic flow,
  • how to reduce the local (and global) environmental impact linked to transportation of people and services, housing, etc.,
  • new ways to innovate,
  • how to revitalise cities through their spaces (public spaces, art and cultural spaces, historical centres, ect.).

Short on time? Skip straight to the question that interests you!

1. If you had to rethink the property industry, what areas would you focus on?

2. What are the big trends shaping the property industry right now? How are they influencing the way buildings and cities are designed?

3. What’s your vision of cities of the future?

4. How important are events like MIPIM, MAPIC and MIPIM Asia to your business? 

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