Irénée Scalbert

Irénée Scalbert trained at the Architectural Association in London in the late 1970s.

Irénée Scalbert trained at the Architectural Association in London in the late 1970s. After several years in practice, he returned to the AA in 1989 to run a design studio. Since 2000, he has been Course Master in history and theory at the AA. As a critic, he has been associated with architects including Tony Fretton, Caruso St John, Dutch architects in the mid 1990s and FOA. As a historian, he has written articles on architecture in the 1950s, notably on the Smithsons, as well as essays on the Rococo and on landscape painting. He is the author of A Right to Difference: The Architecture of Jean Renaudie, commended in the CICA Exhibition Catalogue Award 2005. Since 1998, he has been a member of the editorial board of AA Files. He is a regular guest lecturer and is running a course on European architecture at the GSD in Harvard.

Selected bibliography

Magazine articles

“Siedlung Halen: Une cité radieuse helvète”, Le Moniteur Architecture-AMC, nr.24, September 1991.
“Les Smithson à Bath”, Le Moniteur Architecture-AMC, nr.28, February 1992.
“Le Leicester Building”, Le Moniteur Architecture-AMC, nr.46, November 1993.
“Cerebral Functionalism: The design of the Leicester University Engineering Building”, Archis, May 1994.
“On the edge of the ordinary” (on Caruso St John), Archis, March 1995.
‘Architecture is not made with the brain: the Smithsons & the Economist Building
plaza”, AA Files 30, Autumn 1995.
Review of S,M,L,XL, arq, vol.1, spring 1996.
“Siedlung Halen: between standards and individuality”, arq, vol.2, autumn 1996.
“The Value of Plenty”, arq, vol.2, spring 1997.
Review of A Critic Writes: Essays by Reyner Banham, AA File 34, Autumn 1997.
“MVRDV Town”, AA Files 35, Spring 1998.
“The Value of Objectivity”, OASE, nr. 49/50, 1998.
“Towards a Formless Architecture: The House of the Future by A+P Smithson”, Archis, September 1999.
“The Rococo Revolution”, AA Files 39, Autumn 1999.
“Parallel of Life and Art”, Daidalos, nr.75, May 2000.
“Den Vackra Himlen” (The beauty of the sky – Swedish), Mama, nr.27, 2000.
Review of books on Le Corbusier and the CIAMs by Jencks, Frampton and Eric Mumford, AA Files 44, Autumn 2001.
“Interview with Tony Fretton”, a+t, nr.18, Autumn 2001.
“Architecture at the end of history”, Contemporary, February 2002.
“The New Architecture: The Yokohama International Port Terminal”, Casabella, February 2003 (translation on pp. 109-113).
“Cities without Nations”, Scroope, nr.15, 2003.
“A Real Living Contact with the Things Themselves: Landscape Painters and Architects, 1600-1850”, AA Files 50, spring 2004.
“The City of Small Things”, Building Material (Dublin), nr.12, autumn 2004.
Review of Modern Architecture and Other Essays, by Vincent Scully, AA Files, winter 2005.
“A World of Differences or a Different World?”, OASE, nr.67, autumn 2005.
“The Value of Common Sense”, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, January-February 2006.


Interview with Claude Parent, The Function of the Oblique, AA Documents 3, Architectural Association, London, 1996.
“Putting the 60’s into the 90’s”, Constructing the Town upon the Town, Europan 4, Paris, 1997.
“The City of Small Things”, Rotterdam, 2001.
“Croatians with Attitude”, Kavalriengürtel: njiric + njiric arhitekti, de Singel Internationaal Kunstcentrum, Antwerpen, 2001.
“The Walsall Art Gallery and its Geography”, The New Art Gallery, Walsall (Batsford, 2003)
“Architecture at the End of History” (reprint from Contemporary), Reading MVRDV (NAi, 2003).
“Architecture is not made with the Brain” (reprint from AA Files), Architecture is not made with the Brain: The Labour of Alison and Peter Smithson (Architectural Association, 2005)
A Right to Difference: The Architecture of Jean Renaudie (Architectural Association, 2004). Commendation, Julius Posener CICA Award 2005.

Writings available on CICArchitecture

Cities without nations

The Yokohama International Port Terminal

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