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KATARXIS

Urban Design

The traditional city is the sublime, complex and popular manifestation of civility and conviviality. It is the perfect synthesis between territory, culture and human communities. It is a stable and stimulating " Patria " for individuals, for locals and strangers, for residents and hosts, for industry, business, crafts, art, for communication and interaction, for social, cultural, intellectual and commercial exchanges, activities and inventions.

Despite of our century's quick and dramatic and unprecedented changes and innovations, the traditional city has remained a good and desirale place to live. It has proven to be perfectly compatible with modern life...It is both an experiencable reality and a realistical project of contemporary civilization.

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Elevation study of new Kaltreis Quarter in Luxembourg (1984)

" To work within a tradition requires a certain acceptance of the limitations it brings: but if those limitations are understood to be inevitable consequences of man's position within nature outside of Paradise, outside of utopia, they will be perceived not as constraints but as the simple and natural containment of human action, including creativity. As Quinlan Terry puts it, the rules of classical architecture have the neutrality of a grammar, of the colours of a palette: what you can do with them is the result of an enquiry into their infinite possibilities. There is no constraint here which is any greater than the natural scope of an individual to utilise all his ressources of feeling and imagination. "

Robert Maxwell

" Quinlan Terry ", Academy Editions (1981)

Model Potsdam Project

Reconstruction of "Alter Markt", Stadtschloss and Lustgarten
Potsdam, Germany (1996-1997)


Prince of Wales's Urban Design Task Force (1996) with Brian Hanson, Victor Deupi, Jason Montgomery and Lucien Steil

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Existing situation Potsdam (1996) with the impressive presence of Schinkel's Nicolaikirche on the Alter Markt.
The Stadtschloss has been deliberately demolished after the second World War as a symbol of monarchic absolutism whereas the church has fortunately been rebuilt.

The Prince of Wales's Urban Design Task Force adressed the reconstruction of the historical city in its integrity and its capacity to reconcile a contemporary urban conviviality with collective memory.

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Model of the Prince of Wales's Urban Design Task Force
Potsdam, Germany in 1996

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Paternoster Square, London by John Simpson

Piazza Kaltreis 250

Kaltreis Counterproject Poster

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Axionometric view of Kaltreis Counterproject by Lucien Steil.Instead of the low-density suburban official project, Lucien Steil proposes a complex and mixed-use quarter built according the principles of the traditional European city.

El Naranjo Town Center Correa Valle

El Naranjo, View of New Town Center
by Correa, Valle, Valle

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Harper Courtyards, West Hollywood, California
by Moule & Polizoides, Architects and Urbanists

" The tradition of courtyard housing is continued and revived with the Harper Courtyard, using as reference points the famous courtyard apartments of Andalusia and La Ronda. "

" There is one way of Building.
It is thousands of years old, and the same today as it has always been.
The great traditional buildings of the past, the villages and tents and temples in which man feels at home, have always been made by people who were very close to the center of this way. It is not possible to make great buildings, or great towns, beautiful places, places where you feel yourself, places where you feel alive, except by following this way. And, as you will see, this way will lead anyone who looks for it to buildings which are themselves as ancient in their form, as the trees and hills, and as our faces are. "

" The Timeless Way of Building ",Oxford University Press (1979)

Cristopher Alexander

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South Miami Metrorail Garage Reconstruction, Miami
Live /Works Flats in " Liner Building "
by Chael, Cooper & Associates

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Residence Hesperides in Grevenmacher, Luxembourg
Senior Citizen Housing in walking distance to city center
by Mulhern & Steil (1995)