The wall-free architecture of Claude Parent

A new, carefully edited tome celebrates the life and contribution of the French architect, who passed away in 2016

Wall-free architecture of Claude Parent
(Image credit: press)

Radical architect Claude Parent's vision is nowhere clearer than in his beautiful and thought provoking drawings, which are published extensively in a new Rizzoli publication. Parent is well known for establishing the ‘oblique function’ theory, which he developed together with Paul Virilio in 1963; it describes structures that are wall-free and showcase flowing, curvaceous forms. 

Bringing together early sketches of later realised buildings and theoretical drawings, the book also features contributions by acclaimed figures in the field, such as Donatien Grau, Pascale Blin, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Odile Decq, Wolf D. Prix, Frédéric Migayrou and Azzedine Alaïa. It also has never-seen-before visuals that further explore the architect’s philosophy and approach.

Claude Parent

(Image credit: press)

Leading contemporary architects such as Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Daniel Libeskind have praised Parent’s work, while the late Zaha Hadid had stated that ‘Claude Parent was one of architecture’s most radical and audacious visionaries; audacious enough to question orthogonality as architecture’s natural realm, and propose the tilted plane as the engine of invention and surprisingly fertile basis of an alternative architectural scenario’.


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).