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Art & Architecture: is aesthetics profitable?

On December 2nd 2014, a round table was organized on Lafarge’s initiative on: “Art & Architecture: is aesthetics profitable?” It was a great occasion for us to gather key players of the French architectural world at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine (the Cité) in Paris.

For Lafarge, building better cities is about contributing to cities with more housing and making them more compact, more durable, better connected and of course... more beautiful.

For many city dwellers around the world (almost 4 out of 10), beauty is indeed one of the most important criteria in defining a dream city, as shown in our study "Happiness is in the city" (Lafarge-IPSOS, see box opposite).

To explore this topic further, on December 2nd we organized a round table at the Cité on: "Art & Architecture: is aesthetics profitable?" It was an excellent opportunity to hear different perceptions and to discuss importance of aesthetics in the city.


The debate was introduced by Alexandra Rocca, Lafarge Executive Vice-President Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development, and Robert Zarader, Equancy & Co President. The panel was composed of:

  • Guy Amsellem, President of the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine. Under his leadership, the Cité provides a central role to architects and architecture students through contests, artist residencies, partnerships, etc.
  • Jacques Ferrier, Architect and Urban-planner. He was one of the first to set up a research & development team to work with industrial organizations on specific projects, including the concept of ultra -environmental skyscraper Hypergreen, developed with Lafarge and introduced at a major conference on the future of cities in Shanghai in 2006.
  • Alexandre Gady, Professor of Art History at the Sorbonne University and President of an association for the protection of landscapes and aesthetics in France. Alexandre Gady is recognized for his expertise in architecture and history of the city of Paris.

Happiness is in the city

For 38% of city dwellers, beauty is one of the most important criteria to define a dream city, just after safety (54%) and cultural diversity (39%).

Our dialog with the architectural world

Our role is to assist architects to help them fulfill their creativity and contribute to building more beautiful cities. We regularly welcome architects and design firms in our research center (in l'Isle d'Abeau near Lyon) to reflect together on constructive solutions that meet their expectations and projects.



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