Brendan MacFarlane, one half of Parisian architecture firm , kicks off IIDEX/NeoCon keynotes this morning, and reveals the inspirations behind the duo’s colourful work and how they create an uninterrupted dialogue between interior and exterior. The firm’s recently completed Orange Cube – an arresting aluminum-clad, mixed-use building in Lyons – has garnered international acclaim for its gargantuan voids. Surprising shapes are the name of the game for this firm, which is also behind the Docks de Paris fashion institute. Its transparent, acid-green circulation route – dubbed “le truc vert” (that green thing) by French president Nicholas Sarkozy – snakes across the revitalized dockside factory.
This afternoon, Howard Pharr, who has created designs for the Hyatt Regency and Mandarin Oriental as a principal at Atlanta’s , and Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons hotel chain, hold court and chat about the constantly evolving hospitality industry. With En Route‘s Ilana Weitzman moderating, the trio identify and discuss the increasing demands of travellers seeking perfect wifi connectivity, an original dining experience and round-the-clock access to a spa.
Architect Matthias Sauerbruch of Berlin firm delivers the closing keynote on Friday morning. Show-goers keen on merging sustainability with eye-pleasing architecture will want to grab a seat for this one. The firm’s recently completed technicolour KfW Westarkade office building in Frankfurt runs on less than 100 kwh per square metre thanks to a double-layer facade offering natural ventilation, as well as radiant floor slabs and geothermal heating.
All keynote talks are free and take place at the Keilhauer Keynote Theatre at the Direct Energy Centre on Thursday, September 22, and Friday, September 23, 2011. For more info, visit