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French presence at the 25th Congress of the Union of International Architects in Durban

The 25th Congress of the Union of International Architects (UIA) is in full swing in Durban. Among the many events forming part of the programme of this largest gathering of architects, the French projects include:

chia-wen tsai

- In_Through uShintsho | 2-8 August
a light-water-sound installation at Rachel Finlayson Pool on the Durban Promenade created by Chia-Wen Tsai, French visual artist and Diale Mabitsela, SA composer at Wits School of Arts. As the visitors walk around the pool, they experience a visual and sensorial journey: through the movement of the water, its reflections will change and will be accompanied by sounds in the whole pool space.

- 20! Between Hopes and Possibilities | 5 & 8 August
a photo-concert by OZMA (FR), Sazi Dlamini, Jose-Maria Mabote, Jurgen Brauningen and the Durban Centre of Photography (SA) invites the audience to follow a photographic journey on screen retracing a route to democracy while a French jazz quartet is performing live a unique music soundtrack, inviting South African sounds on stage.

Liaisons Urbaines: an experimentation and transformation of public spaces in African cities | 5 August 

The programme develops concrete and site specific urban operations involving people, cultural operators, with designers (furniture designers, architects, landscape architects) and visual artists. The aim of these operations is to improve and reconnect everyday spaces by promoting their collectif uses and practices, and their cultural heritage.

- The Atkinson House Project | 6 August

The conference by Mr Debrat, director of the Agence française de Développement (AFD), intends to present a project that will give a huge boost to Affordable housing for lowest-income earners in Joburg's inner city. It will focus on the conversion of a historic 1938 CBD building, the old Chrysler House, now called Atkinson House, into 500 affordable housing units. The conversion works are implemented by the Affordable Housing Company (Afhco) and supported by the Agence Française de Developpement (AFD).

Looking forward, Paris, with Rio de Janeiro and Melbourne, is competing to be the host city of the 27th Congress of the UIA in 2020.

photo uia
Photo: Members of the committee of Paris 2020 with Frank Marchetti (Counsellor, Head of cooperation, at the French Embassy in South Africa) on the left and Sarah Doignon (Director of the Alliance française of Durban) on the right.

The vote done by professional organizations of architects around the world will take place at the end of the 25th Congress of the UIA, at the end of this week, in Durban. The event takes place every three years and the previous edition (2011) was held in Tokyo. In 2017, the 26th Congress will be held in Seoul (South Korea).

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