James Wines, architect

sculpture in the environment

09 October 2014, 19:00

Sculptor by training, James Wines ( 1932 ) is known at the beginning of 1970s, through his New York agency SITE (" sculpture In The Environment "), thanks to realizations spectacular as Inside / Outside Building to Milwaukee ( 1984 ) or the Avenue Number Five and the Detached house(Flag) of Saudi Arabia for the World Fair of Seville ( 1992 ). The education) which it dispenses since 1963 in numerous institutions contributed to promote environmental design in the field of the architecture. Critic and theorist of the architecture, James Wines published in 2000 Green Structure, who redraws the history of the relationship between architecture and ecology. "

Highrise of Homes, 1981
This project, between architectural and urban imagiantion, is the territorial assertion of an individual house in the environment compressed of a structure at multiple levels. It is a question of one tower block from fifteen to twenty floors situated in a strongly populated city center. The configuration of the construction is a matrix of steel and concrete which shelters a vertical community of private houses, themselves grouped in every floor in villages, any various from each other. Every level is a platform which can be acquired in the form of individual plots of land. These "skyscrapers of houses" are realized from a catalog of prefabricated elements and standard materials which chooses the inhabitant. It is here the expression of the inhabitant and the flexibility that dominate. For Wines, the architecture has a resolutely narrative dimension; she has to produce a "new type of permutable, evolutionary and indefinite images". "The final question - and fundamental - is: the inhabitants will they answer this opportunity to cultivate their own gardens and to personalize the outside of their house, when this possibility is offered to them? The homogeneous standard railing (…) Didn't she unconsciously repress any thought of any alternative?" The inhabitants will establish themselves the esthetic contents of the architecture. High-Rise of Homes defines himself consequently as the "collective biography of his inhabitants".


llustration poster : Highrise of Homes, 1981 Site (James Wines), drawing, ink and wash drawing on paper 28 x 35,3 cm 

Collection Frac Centre, Orléans (France)