Ecologies of Construction

The retrofit of a showroom in Paris is an occasion to expose power relationships in a construction site. The actors involved include human actors (the bureau de control, the direction of works, the contractor, subcontractors, facility managers, immigrant workers, designers, A/E engineering companies, suppliers, fire safety consultants, neighbors, etc.) and non-human agents (stone, water, dust, marmorino, etc.).

In an ex-post evaluation of the works, I raise questions about who builds our architectures, inequality in construction sites, and power dynamics at the intersection of people, materials, and regulations (contracts, Gantt schedules, and building, security, and safety codes).

In 2011, Romania had just entered the European Union, bringing workforce from the peripheral to Europe’s central countries. Having witnessed extreme labor inequalities in Dubai (2009), I provided informal advocacy to Romanian immigrant workers in the construction site. As sub-contractors, their labor conditions (salaries, working time, health) were harsh.

Client: Fortebís Group
Final Client: Italian Fashion Company
Local Architect: Pierre Marceau
Direction of Works: Steven Shelledy
Mechanical Engineering: Cavazzoni Associati
Bureau de Control: Qualiconsult
R.U.S Site Vendôme: Yann Lecointre
Security: Guy Chapoutot
Lighting: Balestreri Lighting
Finishing: Zampieri