Comité International des Critiques d'Architecture
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Jean-Louis Cohen


Jean-Louis Cohen was born in 1949 in Paris. Trained as an architect at the École Spéciale d'Architecture and at the Unité Pédagogique n° 6, in Paris, he took a Ph.D. in History at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in 1985.

After having directed the Architectural Research Program at the Ministry of Housing, he held from 1983 to 1996 a research professorship at the School of Architecture Paris-Villemin. Since 1993 he is the Sheldon H. Solow Chair for the History of Architecture at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, and between 1996 and 2005 he has held a chair in town-planning history at the Institut Français d'Urbanisme, University of Paris 8.

From 1997 to 2003, the French Minister of Culture appointed him to create the Cité de l'architecture, a museum, research and exhibition center to be opened in 2005 in the Paris Palais de Chaillot. Between1998 and 2003, he was the Director of the Institut français d'architecture and of the Musée des Monuments Français, the two major components of the Cité.

Jean-Louis Cohen's research activity has been chiefly focused on Twentieth century architecture and urban planning. He has studied in particular German and Soviet architectural cultures, and interpreted extensively Le Corbusier's work and Paris planning history.

He has been a curator for numerous exhibitions, including Paris-Moscou (1979) and the centennial show L'aventure Le Corbusier (1987), both at the Centre Georges Pompidou. He has also conceived with Bruno Fortier the permanent exhibit Paris, la ville et ses projets at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal (1988-2003) and, at the Canadian Center for Architecture, Scenes of the World to Come (1995). Other exhibitions include 1997 Les Années 30, l'architecture et les arts de l'espace entre industrie et nostalgie at the Musée des Monuments Français in Paris (1997), Casablanca, naissance d'une ville moderne en sol africain, at th Fondation Electra (1999) and Alger, paysage urbain et architecture, at the Institut français d'architecture (2003).

His most significant books are :
Alger, paysage urbain et architectures 1800-2000, Paris, Éditions de l'Imprimeur, 2003 (ed., with Nabila Oulebsir and Youcef Kanoun).
Encyclopédie Perret, Paris, Éditions du Patrimoine, Institut français d'architecture, 2002 (ed., with Joseph Abram and Guy Lambert).
Casablanca, Colonial Myths and Architectural Ventures, New York, The Monacelli Press, 2002 (with Monique Eleb).
Une cité à Chaillot : avant-première, Paris, Éditions de l'Imprimeur, 2001 (with Claude Eveno).
Les Années 30, l'architecture et les arts de l'espace entre industrie et nostalgie (ed., Paris, Éditions du Patrimoine, 1997.
Scenes of the World to Come ; European Architecture and the American Challenge 1893-1960, Paris, Flammarion, 1995.
L'architecture d'André Lurçat (1894-1970) ; l'autocritique d'un moderne, Liege, Pierre Mardaga, 1995 (Italian transl., 1998).
Mies van der Rohe, Paris, Hazan, 1994 (English, German, Italian transl., 1995).
Américanisme et modernité, l'idéal américain dans l'architecture, Paris, Flammarion/École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 1993 (ed., with Hubert Damisch).
Des fortifs au périf, Paris : les seuils de la ville, Paris, Picard, 1992 (with André Lortie).
Le Corbusier and the Mystique of the USSR, Theories and Projects for Moscow, 1928-1936, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1992.


Writings available on CICArchitecture:
Promesses et impasses du populisme

"Ich bin ein (dreifacher) Berliner"

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