The Architectural Review June 2022
Before the pandemic, the AR often devoted entire issues to countries or regions, casting what light we could on the large architectural landscapes of places such as Brazil, the islands of Ireland, Belgium and Korea. In June, we turn our gaze to France. The country is in the wake of a divisive election, which has exposed the colonial and deeply inequitable constructs that support the state. The policies and promises that divide the nation today go as far back as France’s colonial past and continue to manifest themselves in its built environment. The imperial ambitions of Napoleon, who built the Arc de Triomphe in the 19th century, still run strong. He is featured on the cover of this issue, seemingly propped up by scaffolding there to support the wrapping of the Arc in 2021, posthumously by Christo and Jeanne‑Claude, the subject of this month's Reputations. This issue looks at the fraught political landscape within France’s hexagonal borders. But it also reflects on violence wrought elsewhere, from the overseas territory of Martinique to the Algerian Sahara, and, closer to home, in the English Channel.