The review was created in 1958 by the Helsinki group of the CIAM (International Congress of Modern Architecture). The title is borrowed from a composition by Mondrian representing a blue square. It stresses the relation between the review and contemporary art
The objective is to consider architecture as an ARTISTICAL CREATION, hence the necessity to subtract it from the short time interests while responding in the same time to essential needs of contemporary life.
Since its foundation, “Le Carre Bleu” has been partially or totally bilingual. From 2001 it has been trilingual (also in Italian). Its form is based on a square of 22 X 22 cm. From its creation to 1969,”Le Carré Bleu” was published under the form of a folded paper of 4 to 6 pages.
Since 1969, the review has been assembled under the form of single issues or double issues (approximately 100 pages).
André Shimmerlinmg has been the director of Le Carré Bleu since 1958 till 2002; since 1969 with the major contribution of Philippe Fouquey, rédacteur en chef.
The head office of the review was in Helsinki till 1962, transferred afterwards to Paris in 1963. An association (loi de 1901) became in charge of the edition the same year (“les Amis du Carre Bleu”).
Architects of international reputation were contributing to the review and many projects presented for the first time in ‘Le Carré Bleu’ were realised afterwards. For instance:
– the free university of Berlin (Georges Candilis, Alexis Josic, Shadrach Woods)
– campus of Urbino, Italy (Giancarlo de Carlo).
– linear centre of Rotterdam (Jacob B. Bakema)
– the City of Science (Pica Ciamarra Associati)
The various contributions to ‘Le Carre Bleu” may be schematically grouped in three categories:
– emphasis on the architectural form
– emphasis on the (social) function
– emphasis on the constructive structure
In the occasion of the 30th of le Carré Bleu, the CCI Centre Pompidou has published “L’Heritage des CIAM 1858/1988” (with a text by Andrée Shimmerling).
Since June 1994, the review has organised a series of colloquiums in Paris about the “Architect and the Power”. It later promoted the foundation of the Observatoire internationale de l’Architecture – O.I.A which, in 1997, drew up the Proposal for European Directive for Architecture and the Environment.
In May 1999, it organised a competition of ideas between students of European schools of architecture, on the subject “Mobility and urbanity”.
In 2001, the publication stopped with no particular reasons; in the meantime, through a number of meetings, the last of which was “Mémoire en Mouvement” in Paris / Centre Pompidou (after the end of the exhibition (24.09.2005-08.01.2006) “Team 10 / 1953-81 A Utopia of the Present” at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (Nai), Rotterdam) the new Cercle de Rédaction launched a “manifesto” “Fragments / Symbiose”
The Carrè Bleu can be found in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, in great bookshops, in schools of architecture and some public libraries. Le Carré Bleu, a totally independent international review, born for the expression of ideas, is addressed:
• to the professionals of architecture, of planning and of environmental sciences, and for some thematical issues, to engineers of building structures, to landscape architects, to professionals of human sciences.
• to readers interested in transdisciplinary features in order to understand changes in the realm of cities and urban societies.
• to students, for the theoretical approaches provided by the review:
– in order to deal with the contexts of professional practice and international projects
– in order to understand theoretical positions and some practical innovations open to debate and to analyse some subjects more in depth.
The review intends to participate in the training of generations of professionals working in pluridisciplinary teams who take into account the social conditions, constraints and potentialities of their projects and works.
Since 2006, through a series of meetings, the last of which has been “Memoire in Mouvement” in Paris / Centre Pompidou, le Carré Bleu has reviewed his line conferring the direction to Massimo Pica Ciamarra (among the collaborators since the ‘60s) and has redefined the Cercle de Rédaction (composed by French, Italian and Finnish personalities) entrusting Luciana de Rosa of its coordination. Later have joined the CdR also members from Belgium and Portugal.
Since 2007, with the High Patronage of UNESCO, le CB launched l’”Appel à international idée – une idée pour chaque ville” for shortlisting a number of projects designed by young architects living in Mediterranean Countries, offering paid stages in high reputation practices.
In 2008, on the occasion of the fifty years of Le Carré Bleu at the Palais de Chaillot- Paris the project has been presented of the “Declaration of the Human Duties” towards the habitat and the lifestyle
In 2012, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Palais de Chaillot / Paris, has completed the digitization of the entire collection of CB, since n°1/1958, regularly updated on this site where,. corresponding to the year 1988, are also reproduced both the text and the slides of “L’Heritage des CIAM 1858/1988”, CCI Centre Pompidou 1988
Le Carré Bleu, feuille internationale d’architecture, is a candidate for “The 2013 UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award”, of “UN-Habitat / for a better human future”