Dossier : Cinq édifices brutalistes à découvrir en Île-de-France

The Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles or the Basilica of Saint-Denis, the list of iconic architectural works of Ile-de-France is long as the arm. But the Paris region does not count fortunately that works from previous centuries and brutalist architecture is prominently in our heritage. So for a visit of another kind, the editorial office of Muuuz offers you a tour of the iconic buildings of the movement!

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The National Dance Center - Jacques Kalisz / Antoinette Robain and Claire Guieysse
Along the Ourcq canal, the CND Pantin (93) is perhaps one of the best-known brutalist works in the suburbs of Paris. Designed in 1965 by the architect Jacques Kalisz, the building housed in the first place the administrative city of the city. Falling into disuse 20 years later, it is the duo Antoinette Robain and Claire Guieysse who offers the building its second life in the early 2000 years. Under the leadership of the duo, the ensemble hosts a dance center and brings up to date the brutalist aesthetics. A winning bet since the construction will win the precious 2004 Silver Square.

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Headquarters of the French Communist Party - Oscar Niemeyer
Designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the new headquarters of the French Communist Party (19ème arrondissement) is installed since 1971 on the symbolic Place du Colonel-Fabien which pays tribute to the eponymous communist militant. Similar to the rounded belly of a pregnant woman from the outside, the white dome houses the famous National Council Chamber whose ceiling is endowed with a multitude of metal blades with great acoustic properties. The raw concrete building is also adorned with designer decorations, armchairs designed by the architect with door handles by Jean Prouvé, and a tapestry by Fernand Léger. A fascinating interior that has seduced for several years the major fashion houses - from Prada to Jean-Paul Gaultier - to present their collection.

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The Choux - Gérard Grandval
Often mocked by the Cristoleans, the Creteil Cabbages (94) designed in 1974 by the French architect Gérard Grandval are also nicknamed "Dahlias", "Houses-Flowers" or "Corncobs". And for good reason, the astonishing organic volumetry of the external balconies. Without the vegetation initially planned, these ten round towers of fifteen storeys are like a cauliflower field. A nod to the history of the site where a sauerkraut factory was installed. This large group of social housing and students today testifies to the creative urbanism of New Creteil and represents the architectural icon of the city.

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The stars of Renaudie - Jean Renaudie
Missioned by the city of Ivry in the 1970 years for the creation of social housing, the architect Jean Renaudie moves away, through this habitable complex, the traditional pavement defining the large ensembles. More poetic, it is the shape of the star that is here declined and that gives this neighborhood its unique identity. Like everything straight out of a post-apocalyptic future, the construction combines unique silhouette, raw concrete and random vegetation, taking over the architectural world. And since one is never better served than by himself, the master builder himself passed the end of his life in his work, his head in the stars.

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House of Brazil - Le Corbusier
Impossible to speak of brutalist architecture without quoting Le Corbusier! A pioneer of the movement, the architect is at the origin of a number of brutalist works from the Paris region. Less celebrated than the Villa Savoye, the House of Brazil, realized in 1957 in collaboration with Lucio Costa, is one of the 23 national houses of the Cité internationale universitaire of Paris (14ème arrondissement). Completely restored in 2000, the ensemble celebrates Brazilian culture in its exhibition spaces, its theater, its French-speaking library and its video library. Who said brutalist architecture was not warm?

Photographs: 1) Espace Niemeyer - Headquarters of the French Communist Party / Jérémie Léon
3) Espace Niemeyer - Headquarters of the French Communist Party / Guilhem Vellut / CC-BY
4) The Cabbages of Creteil, DR
5) The stars of Rénaudie / Alexandre Faraci
6) House of Brazil / Samuel Ludwig


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