Gallery: Parasitic Guerrilla Architecture Hijacks the Arche de la Défen...

"A pocket of active resistance created by welcoming the discontented, this act of guerrilla architecture sets out to hijack the “Great arch of fraternity.” Unite the forsaken, the marginalized, refugees, demonstrators, dissenters, hippies, utopians,
"A pocket of active resistance created by welcoming the discontented, this act of guerrilla architecture sets out to hijack the “Great arch of fraternity.” Unite the forsaken, the marginalized, refugees, demonstrators, dissenters, hippies, utopians, and the stateless of all kinds."

Pocket of Active Resistance is a modular housing system stuck to the interior walls of la Défense that grows organically out of the insurrection and malcontent of the people. Homes consists of modules affixed to the interior walls of the building that are connected via catwalks and scaffolding. Modules can be connected together to create larger abodes. They look a bit ramshackle and scraped together from recycled parts and pieces, and Malka claims in his proposal that a housing module would only cost 3,000 euros.

La Résistance is a clear theme that runs strongly through French culture, but this design could easily be applied to any building of political or cultural importance. What if these guerrilla modules were affixed to the Pentagon in the US? Malka’s design is strongly based on environmental concerns, as the act of building new always degrades the environment — which is why he proposes these parasitic homes that take advantage of existing infrastructure.

In light of these social, economic, and ecologic urgencies, it is necessary to reconsider the city with the logic of transformation: through superposition, addition, and the extension of our built heritage more than through that of a univocal tabula rasa. This means reclaiming territory in the marginalized areas of our cities, with projects that bear insurrection and civic mobilization.

+ Malka Architecture


Photo credits: ©Stéphane Malka


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  1. tinsol December 15, 2013 at 8:15 am

    the noise echoing off that larger structure would be a nightmare better to just use bedrock or some insulated material to solve this problem on that structure.

  2. Wiki-Truths September 18, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Are we allowed to talk about how this would never happen? Corporate property. Cops would burn this down and beat and arrest them all.

  3. feline74 August 11, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    William Gibson beat him to the punch. In VIRTUAL LIGHT, the Bay Bridge-rendered unusable by traffic in a massive earthquake- is turned into a vertical squatters camp by poor people rendered homeless by the same quake.

  4. Eric Hunting July 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    This is both a brilliant demonstration of the concept of adaptive reuse but also a very profound political statement. It\\\’s an illustration of a Post-Industrial re-appropriation of the technology, resources, and sociopolitical power of the Industrial Age and its monolithic systems in the wake of its progressive functional collapse by virtue of its inherent unsustainability and oppressiveness. It\\\’s illustrating a story of a society that is compelled to find its own new way -create it\\\’s own new systems- amidst the remnants/ruins of a dysfunctional political and economic system that simply stopped serving the interests of the public. Its a glimpse of a very plausible very-near-future where we are compelled to reinvent wheels in an ad hoc manner for the sake of survival when the \\\’system\\\’ has run so far off the rails it\\\’s made itself an anachronism. One might nit-pick the \\\’practicality\\\’ of such dwellings, but that\\\’s missing the point. This construction would be intended as an act of protest.

    I\\\’ve often wondered why we don\\\’t actually see more of what could be called \\\’architectural activism\\\’, but then, until quite recently, designers were rather content as professionals in service of the upper-class -since if you wanted to make Big Things you had to go to people with money. Perhaps designers, having recently become more aware of the developing world and environmental situations and how design potentially impacts those situations, are now starting to clue-in to their relation to the political and economic systems operating in the world at present. They are starting to notice the connections the environmentalism movement has understood for a long time. Architecture has often been used to make political statements. They just haven\\\’t yet been particularly progressive statements.

  5. Long Tan Park: Cascades... July 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

    […] intriguing irregularity and resulting differentiated terraces are our favorite feature of this design. And the spacing of the homes isn’t just for […]

  6. the bystander July 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I wonder if they remembered that people poop, use water, maybe cook with gas, use electricity when they design these boxes.
    Mass Housing units devote a good amount of space for these infrastructures and I am not seeing it with this design.

  7. kristiantheconqueror July 9, 2010 at 4:23 am

    I don’t know if you can say “Shanty Town” or “Hooverville” but I can…

    The first natural disaster to hit the area (or even just a heavy rain) would cause a humanitarian crisis.

  8. TonyAgudo July 8, 2010 at 1:44 am

    The concept picture makes the Arche look like a city within a city. It’s absolutely beautiful.

  9. seamusdubh July 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I find it interesting that the advocates of this type of construction really don’t take into account architectural safety and the third world poverty squalider shanty shack look. Let alone the privacy and property rights issue.
    Some thing like this could easily be like the Haiti disaster if not like the Walled city of Kowloon, in China.

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