Architecture is the supreme art

France

Parisian experiments in the 60s and 70s

I am not talking about Paris intra-muros, which keeps its haussmanian character untouched, with no buildings higher than 10 floors, but about the “villes nouvelles” the suburbs built from scratch following the corbusian separation of car and pedestrian traffic, eliminating one thing the French can manage perfectly : the street ! These sites are usualyy the terminus of subway lines, hard to reach if visiting Paris is for you walking from Notre Dame to Concorde.

Creteil was an urban experiment which benefited from almost unlimited budget, because the Prefet was a war comorade with de Gaulle. The town is composed by five islands, separated by highways. Wach architect enjoyed some degree of freedom in playing with high and low rises, designing the public facilities.

 

 

 

Creteil - Hotel de Ville

Creteil - Hotel de Ville

Creteil - Les Epis

 

Tribunal de Creteil

 

 

I shouldn’t be unfair with Paris. One “ville sur dalle”, a town built on a concrete slab is Beaugrenelle. Luckily, it did not fall into dissaray, becoming a social housing suburb like Bobigny. The towers have expensive apartments and offices. Still, in winter, some people break a few hips sliding on the beautiful vintage tiles of the terraces.

Tour Panorama. Beaugrenelle, Paris

The friendly doorman allowed me in

Notel Novotel

Now you know where Tyler Brule picked the star for the Wallpaper cower and for Swiss

Building at the Javel subway station

Salon du Pantheon, above the Cinema du Pantheon, decorated by Deneuve. If you go up when the place is not open, the woman behind the bar gets totally hysterical, if she sees people walking there.

Roissy Airport, terminal 1. When taking a plane was like flying to the moon.

 

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