Why this movie?
For a long time, I have been trying to share with the greatest audience my main concern, namely the intimate relationship that each of us hold with our
built environment, with architecture and with the city. I live in Paris in the 19th district, a district with a thousand faces, and I think it’s a good place to live. I take advantage of exceptional cultural sites such as the Philharmonie, the 104, the Buttes Chaumont, the Parc de la Villette, the Ourcq Canal. I also frequent many local public buildings (swimming pools, municipal libraries). But I also like the less visible places, the hearts of urban blocks, the passages, the villas, the courtyards that welcome intimate life, the variety of houses, the interiors that one can only imagine.

In order to speak specifically of domestic architecture, the architecture of everyday life, the one that we pay so little attentio nto, when it concerns us so closely, I gave carte blanche to fi ve authors - filmmaker, dancers, philosopher, and writer. I invited them to dialogue with my built project, a social housing complex built in the 19th arrondissement, 168 rue de Crimée.
I invited them during a very specific time frame, the last months of construction -before the arrival of the inhabitants- in a time period favorable for questions and imagination, a time period when architecture is itself in motion, in the making.

 

I tried by all means to escape a static representation of the architectural project. I relied on these authors to propose an alternative to computergenerated images and photographs taken after construction, to these fixed and often disembodied points of view, to representations where everything is fi nished before having even existed, reducing the architectural project to a real estate product or an abstract artistic gesture, disconnected from the city and its inhabitants.

I had no idea what form the five “Cartes blanches” would take or how the director would coalesce the works into a coherent whole. I was very suprised by the proposals of my guests. They have inhabited the place with their singularity and delivered, each in their medium, their refl ections, sensations, emotions, dreams. Célia Houdart opens 212 real or imaginary windows, Alice Martins offers us a game of hide and seek, Compagnie Retouramont makes our heads spin, Jean Attali invites us to reflect on the balance between intimate life and community.
Conductor of this polyphonic portrait, Sophie Comtet Kouyaté writes with her voice-over and moving images one of the chapters of the long history of 168 rue de Crimée, which began well before our involvement and which will continue with the arrival new inhabitants. This film is dedicated to them. Their turn to write the next stories.

 

 

Sarah Bitter, architect

 
 
 

Sarah Bitter an architect. Professional opportunities and a passion for changing cities have led her to work in Barcelona, Marseilles, Berlin and New York. She leads the architecture studio Metek that she cofounded in 2001.
In addition to her work as an architect, Sarah Bitter is involved in the communication of architecture to different audiences: presentation of the work of Metek for the past 15 years within the framework of the Journées A Vivre, participation in television programs, interventions in schools in France
and abroad, for specialists and non specialists (St. Merri Elementary School in Paris, National Superior Schools of Architecture, Fontainebleau American School of Art, University of Michigan, USA).

 

The housing project at 168 Rue de Crimée was designed and built by the architectural firm Metek, Sarah Bitter, and Christophe Demantké between 2009 and 2017.