Manuel Gausa – IAAC Dean

Lecture: The figure of the Architect. From Medium to Mediator?

Francis Soler set up his private practice in 1985. Its activities are extremely varied: from facilities to housing and from studies to urban development. The office takes part in major competitions for public projects both in France and abroad and in consultations by invitation. As much attention is given to small but remarkable buildings, such as public housing in Rue Emile Durkheim (Paris/Delivery in 1997), and in Clichy (delivery in 2001), layouts, and facilities, as to high prestige works, such as grandstand for 14 July celebrations (under François Mitterrand mandates), International conference centre (aborted project), Ministry of Culture (delivery in 2005), OCO / “Coeur d’Orly”, big urban airport project and Philharmonics of Paris (competitions).
In 2009, he participated in the elaboration of Vasconi report, ordered by Minister of Ecology Jean-Louis Borloo about environmental challenge and the discussion about placing architecture under supervision of this ministry and not Ministry of Culture.
His big project of Research and Development Centre for EDF (French Electricity) is actually under construction (delivery is scheduled in 2015). His private housing project for VINCI, in Zac Cardinet (Paris) is also under construction (delivery by 2015). The construction of his big public housing projects, in Porte d’Auteuil (Paris) with Anne Demians, Rudy Ricciotti and Finn Geipel architects is scheduled to begin in mid-2014. Executive studies for the construction of the huge bridge over the Arno River Florence, (Italy) are almost achieved and approved, construction being scheduled by the end of 2014.
The aim is to give them all an important role in the city, to make them into art works. Whatever the project is, Francis Soler’s priorities are to propose pertinent responses to the complex problems of old and new cities, and to give real pleasure to users and residents by offering them architecture that is an art of usage.

(1983 – ETSAB), PHD (2005 – ETSAB), by the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (European Mention). Principal Partner and Co-Director of Gausa+Raveau actarquitectura, office of architecture, landscape and urban design. From 1991 to 2000 Director of the magazine “Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanisme”. Since 1994 Founding Member of Actar Architecture and Actar Projects Editorials. Honoured with the Médaille de l’Académie d’Architecture de France in 2000.

Since 2006 Professor of a Project design Studio in the Faculty of Architecture (Università degli Studi di Genova) in Genoa.? He is also Director of the ADD (Scuola de Dottorato in Architettura e Design – Università degli Studi di Genova – PHD Program) of Genoa. Since 2008: Full Professor of Projects and Composition at DIPARC Dipartamento Di Progettazione e Costruzione Dell’Architettura – Facolta di Architettura – Università degli Studi di Genova. From 2006 to 2008, Director of the Master Program “Intelligent Coast” hosted by Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya. 2008- 2012 Vice-president of the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development (CADS), Generalitat de Catalunya. Since January 2009 he is Director of the GIC-Lab (Genoa Intelligent Contexts Laboratory), Urban and Territorial Research Laboratory – DSA-FA-UNIGE- Universitá degli Studi di Genova. Since 2011 Member of the Consell Consultiu de l’Hàbitat Urbà, Ajuntament de Barcelona and Member of the Scientific Technical Committee of CRUIE,“Centro di Ricerca per l’Urbanistica, le Infrastrutture e l’Ecologia” – UNIGE – Universitá degli Studi di Genova. From 1998 to 2003 he was President of Metapolis and President of the Scientific Committee at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

Author of various articles and published works, such as “Housing, new alternatives, new systems”, “Metapolis Dictionary of Advanced Architecture”, “HiperCatalunya: Research Territories”, “Operative Optimism” among others. In July 2012 he was appointed Dean at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.