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Authors: TenHoor, Meredith
Advisors: Eigen, Edward
Contributors: Architecture Department
Keywords: Biopolitics
Les Halles
Postwar France
Suburban Planning
Subjects: Architecture
European history
Urban planning
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The growth of both an industrialized agricultural landscape in France and the postmodern urbanism of Paris’s Les Halles district was facilitated by an architectural-infrastructural project: the planning and construction of the world’s largest wholesale food market, the Marché d’Intérêt National de Paris-Rungis, realized from 1952–73. Located in the Parisian suburb of Rungis, the market was designed by the firm of Henri Colboc and Georges Philippe, architects who adapted the logic of circulation-management from their Beaux-arts and early modernist training for new purposes in the marketplace. The long history of designs for Les Halles and Rungis show how food infrastructures came to be seen as capable of being designed, as well as how they became potent sites for the elaboration of a discourse of biopolitical economy. The architecture of Les Halles’ markets has been a medium for establishing relationships between governments, private industries and human bodies from the eighteenth century to the present, and Les Halles and Rungis are crucial architectural substrates for theories of political economy. In the eighteenth century, the market was seen as a place that could cover for irregularities in food production. By the twentieth century, planners, such as the modernist publisher and territorial modernizer Philippe Lamour, and his colleague and Rungis’s chief planner Libert Bou, imagined that markets like Rungis would not just improve food distribution, but be agents of agricultural and urban modernization. Charged with realizing this vision, the architects of Rungis designed not only buildings but also did urban planning, engineering, information design, and instantiated early forms of logistical management, expanding the disciplinary bounds of architecture in France to include a variety of new forms of practice. Concurrently, artists, planners, critical theorists and architects who attempted to cope with the massive urban and economic changes that accompanied the modernization of Les Halles, especially Marc Petitjean and Gordon Matta-Clark, re-theorized the importance of food in French bodies, cities, and political economy.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Architecture

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