Dezeen: Grands ensembles and their urban veterans #Paris

Laurent-Kronental_Souvenir-d-un-Futur_dezeen_936_15Denise, 81, Cité Spinoza, Ivry-sur-Seine, 2015

Photo essay: French photographer Laurent Kronental has spent four years capturing the “grands ensembles” housing projects in Paris, juxtaposing the monumental buildings with their elderly occupants.

### Sun, 3 Jan 2016 at 6:00 pm
Laurent Kronental’s Souvenir d’un Futur photos show Paris’ forgotten housing estates
By Dan Howarth
With his Souvenir d’un Futur series, Kronental has photographed residents of the estates among the concrete structures and vast open spaces of the crumbling futuristic complexes built during Paris’ housing boom in the 1950s and 1960s. In this exclusive essay for Dezeen, he explains how his images highlight a sometimes neglected generation in often marginalised urban areas, which both “carry with them the memory of a Modernist utopia”.
Read more + Slideshow

Laurent-Kronental_Souvenir-d-un-Futur_dezeen_1568_13Les Tours Aillaud, Cité Pablo Picasso, Nanterre, 2014Laurent-Kronental_Souvenir-d-un-Futur_dezeen_1568_7Les Tours Aillaud, Cité Pablo Picasso, Nanterre, 2014Laurent-Kronental_Souvenir-d-un-Futur_dezeen_1568_15Paulette, 83, Les Damiers, Courbevoie, 2015Laurent-Kronental_Souvenir-d-un-Futur_dezeen_1568_1Josette, 90, Vision 80, Esplanade de La Défense, 2013

█ As a laureate of the 2015 La Bourse du Talent award in the Landscape/Architecture category, Kronental’s work is on show at the National Library of France until 7 February 2016.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Laurent-Kronental_Souvenir-d-un-Futur_dezeen_1568_8Jean, 89, Puteaux-La Défense, 2011
Laurent-Kronental_Souvenir-d-un-Futur_dezeen_1568_10Les Tours Aillaud, Cité Pablo Picasso, Nanterre, 2013


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Infrastructure, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Urban design

5 responses to “Dezeen: Grands ensembles and their urban veterans #Paris

  1. Elizabeth

    Adam Smith Institute (UK)

    Theo Clifford, Winner of the 18-21 category of the ASI’s ‘Young Writer on Liberty’ competition.

    [comment] Helen Gazeley says:
    August 7, 2015 at 4:04 pm
    Am I the only one who thinks this is [a] wryly humorous essay in the Swiftian tradition? Nicely put, Theo. The starving should indeed eat their babies.

    Santa-Marta-favela []Santa Marta favela [Photo:]

    ### Wed, 5 Aug 2015
    Britain needs more slums
    By Theo Clifford
    The problems with the UK housing market have been well-documented. There is a ‘housing crisis’. No-one today can afford to buy the sorts of houses their parents did. Household formation is depressed. Every day, the reports get more lurid. The latest example of this is a survey suggesting that all 43 of the affordable houses in London aren’t actually houses, but rather boats. There has been a proliferation of not-houses in recent years, from houseboats to ‘beds-in-sheds’. The reason is clear – Britain has a sore lack of proper slums. Government regulations designed to clamp down on ‘cowboy landlords’ restrict people’s ability to choose the kind of accommodation in which they want to live.
    Local authorities require exhaustive safety inspections and energy efficiency standards – if they allow construction at all. Each individual requirement sounds fairly reasonable, something that almost everyone would want. But housing should cater to a wide array of preferences. Some people might not feel like they need a bedroom space as large as the state expects, while others might not mind sharing a bathroom with another family if it means lower rents.
    Read more + 60 comments

    favela /faˈvɛlə/
    noun: favela; plural noun: favelas
    a Brazilian shack or shanty town; a slum

  2. Elizabeth

    Rudimental Published on Nov 6, 2015
    Rudimental – Lay It All On Me feat. Ed Sheeran [Official Video]
    Official video for Rudimental’s new single ‘Lay It all On Me’ featuring Ed Sheeran – taken from the new ‘We The Generation’ album

  3. Elizabeth


    ### December 31, 2015 at 11:30am
    Adaptable Micro Apartments: Semi-Communal Urban Living
    Is college dorm-style living for adults a viable proposal for affordable housing in overcrowded cities? A micro apartment complex in Seoul offers bedroom-sized private units that connect to communal areas, and can be combined into two or more units for couples and families. Songpa Micro Housing by SsD Architecture encourages residents to socialize with each other, fostering a sense of community.


    Many micro apartment complexes tend to be provisional, essentially just offering a place for singles or new transplants to crash at night without ever really feeling like home. One-room apartments packed in together can be cold and impersonal, with residents just passing each other in the hallways. This kind of approach could hinder micro apartments from being seen as a comfortable, long-term housing solution, especially as residents’ life circumstances change over time.

    micro-3micro songpa-micro-living_ani-640_128micro songpa-tapioca_9273-640micro songpa_section_1-640micro-8

    At Songpa, residents can gather in the ground-floor gallery space that functions as one big living room, as well as basement-level and second-floor communal areas. A micro-theater in the stairway to a cafe offers places to sit and relax. Many of these spaces are connected visually thanks to courtyards, skylights and lots of glass. Couples can connect two neighboring units via semi-public open bridges and balconies, and the functions of each apartment shift at the flick of a wrist thanks to operable walls concealing the flip-down beds, tables, kitchens and bathroom facilities. Dornob Link


    Architect Statement:
    The problem of urban density and housing costs is global. As unit types get smaller however, land costs coupled with developer driven profit margins can merely create a provisional housing type with little social value. By mining the discrepancy between maximum floor area ratios and maximum zoning envelopes, Songpa Micro-Housing provides a new typology that extends the limits of the housing unit to also include semi-public circulation, balconies, and the thickness of walls. Like the ambiguous gel around a tapioca pearl, this ‘Tapioca Space’ becomes a soft intersection between public/private and interior/exterior, creating social fabrics between neighbours.

    Fourteen ‘unit blocks’ allow residents to either claim a single space, or in the case where a couple or friends desire to do so, recombine the blocks for larger configurations. This flexibility accommodates changing live and work situations allowing residents to occupy the building longer and therefore more sustainably. Further generating the idea of community, exhibition spaces on the ground floor, basement, and second floors are spatially linked to the units as a shared living room. Although the zoning regulations requires the building to be lifted for parking, this open ground plan is also used to pull pedestrians in from the street and down a set of auditorium-like steps, connecting city and building residents to the exhibition and cafe spaces below.

    Photos: SsD Architecture [more at this link]

    micro songpa-theater-cafe_8780-640micro songpa-corridor_ani-640_128

    █ More architecture and design at

    • Excuse me, we’re English. When we said ‘ensuite’, we didnt mean this suite. Get out! We were hoping to avoid slipshod Continental behaviour in Asia. It seems we cannot.

  4. Elizabeth

    screenshot-2017-02-16-at-1-25-19-pm-via-idealog-co-nz[via Idealog NZ]

    ### 16 Feb 2017
    Rethinking New Zealand architecture’s approach to senior living
    By Elly Strang
    Forget stuffy retirement villages filled with elderly people drinking cups of tea. Marchese Partners Christchurch principal Simon Johnson says New Zealand needs to get more innovative with its aged living options to suit seniors’ active lifestyles. 
    Like most of the developed world, New Zealand has a large aging population that’s heading into retirement.
    In 2016, there were 711,200 Kiwis aged 65 and over, and that is expected to double to between 1.3 and 1.5 million people by 2046.
    At the same time, up-and-coming generations are predicted to have far longer lives than any generation before them.
    The government has predicted that a boy born in 2014 will have a life expectancy of 90, while a girl is expected on average to live until 93. This is about 10 years longer on average than someone born in 1950.
    With all this in mind, consideration needs to be taken when designing for aged living.
    Marchese Partners Christchurch principal Simon Johnson says the current options available for retirees have it wrong, and more innovative, inspiring retirement solutions are needed. “There’s a real stigma around seniors living, which needs to change,” Johnson says. 
    Read more

    [SUPER BORING AND INSTITUTIONAL says whatifdunedin] …The Mark Moran Vaucluse project in Sydney and the Aveo Clayfield project in Brisbane, Australia are examples of the new wave of senior living villages, and Christchurch could be the next port of call…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s