In her activity of architect and urbanist, Elizabeth de Portzamparc designs buildings to serve as architectural symbols supporting new values and as powerful urban landmarks that skillfully structure and inhabit the places where they are built. Open to the city and its inhabitants, the projects of the Musée de la Romanité in Nîmes, the Grand Equipement Documentaire (Grand Documentary Facility) of Aubervilliers and the Le Bourget RER station were imagined as places for “living in” that one can easily make one’s own and whose architecture is designed to create stimulating local spaces enhancing the users’ quality of life.
Applying her thinking and experience on the identity of cities and metropolises, she designs facilities that strengthen the qualities of the context into which they are inserted. With a sober, light and streamlined architecture, based on the lightening of masses and on the economy of forms and materials, privileging the use of spaces with double exposure and a strong relation with nature, they create an atmosphere, conveying easily identifiable collective values and open dialog with the urban surroundings.
Through her dual sociological and architectural approach, she combines the requirements of the social, urban and ecological scope with construction of optimal forms, a coherent approach which is legible on every scale of her work. Her projects are characterized by their innovative flexibility, architectural layouts designed to foster sociability on the scales of both the building and the city, giving much importance to the total spatial interconnections.
As a participant in the Atelier International du Grand Paris, she continues to pursue research she began thirty years ago on the identity of places, community life and territorial links, thus making an important contribution to the current reflection on how to build the metropolis. Within this framework, she has also made pioneering proposals for mixed use and prefabricated sustainable and flexible housing.
In addition to architects, urbanists and set designers, her firm possesses a multidisciplinary team (of sociologists and graduates of the Institut de Sciences Politiques) specialized in research on environmental and social issues.