Paris, Dalle de Béton
Paris, Dalle de Béton is a project tracking the remains of some urban experiments from the 60's to the 80's in today's Paris.
Dalle de béton - French for raised concrete platform. This construction term has become in France a common expression to describe the excesses of past urban experiments.
Paris, already densely inhabited, saw during the 2nd half of the 20th century a flow of new inhabitants: new forms of housing had to be invented. Town planners experimented with large compounds made of concrete filling whole neighborhoods and organized vertically around a central large platform raised high above the ground.
Each level strictly separates functions & activities that a city usually provides side by side: transit and car parks (under the platform, on ground level), recreational areas and retail (right on the platform itself), housing or workplaces (on top of it, in tower blocks).
It was thought to deliver in a limited space a rationally organized place to live or work for a large number of people. But locals saw it as artificial, ugly, dull, cut from the rest of the city and many refused to move in. These compounds slowly fell out of favor.
This series explores what's left of these experiments, how they're still used and relate with their surroundings. It documents a side of Paris contradicting the usual stereotypes (a flat, elegant town, a city-museum, ...) that most inhabitants or tourists ignore, yet a side that is a mark of an evolving and living city, even if in a flawed way.
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