2. Les Arènes de Picasso (1985, Noisy le Grand)

Not far from Espaces d’Abraxas is Les Arènes de Picasso. Buildings are organized in an octagonal layout with two 14-story tall circular units on two facing sides. A green park with a large figural sculpture is in the center. The complex accommodates 540 dwellings, a kindergarten, a high school and a few convenience stores. In the post-Modernist tradition, Spanish architect Manolo Nuà  ±ez Yanowsky intended to break with standardized, functional modern architecture. The overall setting is highly symbolic–the two circular modules are aligned on an axis parallel to the Equator and are meant to represent the wheels of an overturned chariot. Repetition in design is avoided through a host of architectural details reminiscent of a Native American or Aztec art-deco aesthetic.

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3 thoughts on “Science Fiction in the Suburbs of Paris: When Mass Housing meets Postmodernism

  1. Great article Charles-Antoine.
    Such mad & visionary developments – it is very interesting to hear that whilst there are complaints, the residents have taken a stand for their homes. Unlike Pruitt Igoe.

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