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Odile Decq building threatened with demolition

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French architect Odile Decq has begun a fight to save her iconic BPO building in Rennes, France from demolition

Decq has launched an ‘international emergency petition’ addressed to French President Francois Hollande and culture minister Fleur Pellerin to save the 1990 scheme from being razed to the ground.

The petition calls on the French government to create a ‘cultural precedent’ in preserving the 20th century scheme which is set to be demolished after it was left empty when the People’s Bank of the West moved out of the building last year.

The high-tech project, which won the Golden Lion at the 1996 Venice Biennale, features several technical innovations including a double-glazed, screwed, suspended facade, developed with the engineer Peter Rice.

It also features the first use of a panoramic glass lift in France – a development which was later used by Norman Foster at the Carre d’Art in Nimes.

Describing the scheme, Decq said: ‘The rise of such a piece of art in the French landscape, so rich in details, was a real historic event by its way of totally renewing the tertiary architecture language and standing out as an alternative to the banality of filling up suburban zones with boxes of no architectural interest.’

More than 500 have supported Decq’s attempts to save the project from demolition including architect Frank Gehry.

Gehry, said: ‘Great buildings like the BPO by Odile Decq should be available for all to experience and to learn from now and in the future. To lose an example of architecture like this would go against education and inspiration, and who would want to be responsible for that.’

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