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A Utopian Dream Stood Still: Ricardo Bofill's Postmodern Parisian Housing Estate of Noisy-le-Grand

East of Paris, in Seine-Saint-Denis, sits a "Babel-like" housing estate. Its otherworldly atmosphere—existing somewhere between a 'new world' utopian dream and a postmodern, neoclassical housing estate—has set the scene for two Hollywood films including Brazil (1984) and, more recently, the upcoming second instalment of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (2015). Parisian photographer Laurent Kronental's photo series, Souvenir d'un Futur (Memory of a Future), is an homage to the senior citizens of the French capital's Grand Ensemble region — not only in Noisy-le-Grand but across the Parisian banlieue. His photographs capture a number of places and their people which, in spite of their often megalomaniacal architectural settings, have been comparatively overlooked.

See Laurent Kronental's photo series—the result of four years of visits—after the break.

Les Orgues de Flandre, 19e arrondissement Paris, 2014. Image ©  Laurent Kronental Le Pavé Neuf, Noisy-le-Grand, 2015. Image ©  Laurent Kronental Joseph, 88 ans, Les Espaces d'Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, 2014. Image ©  Laurent Kronental Les Tours Aillaud, Cité Pablo Picasso, Nanterre, 2014. Image ©  Laurent Kronental

FC Barcelona Announces Finalists for Camp Nou and Palau Blaugrana Remodel

FC Barcelona has announced 14 teams in the running for two planned overhauls of their facilities at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, including alterations to their main stadium and the rebuilding of the Palau Blaugrana, the nearby arena owned by the club and used primarily for basketball and handball. The alterations to the two buildings are part of a larger €600 million project, known officially as "Nou Espai Barça," which seeks to improve the club's entire campus, also adding an ice skating rink, new offices, 5,000 parking spaces and improving the outdoor space surrounding the facilities. The Nou Espai Barça project was approved by the club's fanbase last April after a 72% vote in favor of the proposal.

The list names eight teams - including BIG, Populous, HKS and Arup Sport - in the running for the overhaul of the stadium itself, which will involve the addition of almost 6,000 seats to bring the stadium's total capacity to 105,000, increasing the stadium's lead as the largest football stadium in Europe. It will also include a complete redesign of the lowest seating tier to offer improved views, and the addition of a roof over the terraces. Also named are the six teams in the running to rebuild the Palau Blaugrana.

W Barcelona Hotel / Ricardo Bofill

  • Architects: Ricardo Bofill
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Project Directors: Ricardo Bofill & Jean Pierre Carniaux
  • Architectectural Construction director: José Maria Rocías
  • Geothecnic: Uriel y asociados (Tomas Murillo)
  • Hotel Structure: Ideam
  • Parking Structure: Eduardo Palao
  • Installations: Projectes s.a., Jordi Oste, Carlos Morancho, Pau Riera
  • Collabor loghting: Birgit Walter
  • Collaborator urban surrounding: Jordi Henrich
  • Projectes S l (Engineering): Jordi Oste, Carles Morancho, Pau Riera
  • Structure Engineering Ideam enterprise: Francisco Millanes, Luís Matute, Miguel Ortega
  • Area: 42.818 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

Spotlight: Ricardo Bofill

Ricardo Bofill (b. 1939), a graduate of the Barcelona University School of Architecture and the School of Geneva, and the founder of interdisciplinary firm Taller de Arquitectura, is renowned for his extensive body of work and ever-changing design aesthetic. His career has spanned over 50 years, encompassing more than 1000 buildings in cities ranging from Lisbon and Boston to Tokyo and St. Petersburg. His architectural approach has evolved across decades and has permeated dozens of countries worldwide.

In Residence: Ricardo Bofill

In Residence: Ricardo Bofill on

You’ve seen it before, Ricardo Bofill’s captivating transformation of Spain’s oldest cement factory into his own stunning, Brutalist residence. Now, tour through the home’s most unique spaces with the Spanish architect himself as he shares his story about The Factory in the latest of NOWNESSIn Residence series. 

100 Architects From 6 Continents Discuss "Time Space Existence" at the 2014 Venice Biennale

The much anticipated Time Space Existence collateral event at Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale brought together a diverse group of 100 architects from six continents in an "extraordinary combination." Summoned by the Dutch non-profit Global Arts Affairs Foundation, the exhibitions the architects were asked to produce documents current developments and thoughts in architecture, highlighting fundamental questions by discussing the philosophical concepts of Time, Space and Existence. Featuring well established architects next to lesser known practices, they all share a "dedication to architecture in the broadest sense of their profession."

Venice Biennale 2014: 100 Architects to Discuss "Time Space Existence"

The Dutch non-profit Global Arts Affairs Foundation has summoned a diverse group of 100 architects from over 40 countries to participate in the Collateral Event “Time Space Existence” at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale

Ricardo Bofill, Norman Foster and Eduardo Souto De Moura are among the many participating, showcasing ideas, research and aspirations that will add commentary about the current state of architecture as well as highlight philosophical questions and concepts regarding time, space and existence. 

A complete list of participants, after the break...

Classic: Maritxell Sanctuary / Ricardo Bofill

  • Architects: Ricardo Bofill
  • Location: Canillo, Andorra
  • Project Year: 1978
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

AD Classics: Walden 7 / Ricardo Bofill

Walden 7 is a project implementing some of Ricardo Bofill's earliest ambitions and addressing most of the problems of modern city life. It is located on the same lot as Taller de Arquitectura, based in the refurbished ruins of an old cement factory. The housing structure benefits from Bofill's earlier research and the idea of providing public spaces and gardens for residents to enjoy an enhanced quality of living.

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

AD Classics: La Muralla Roja / Ricardo Bofill

La Muralla Roja, Spanish for 'The Red Wall,' is a housing project located within the La Manzanera development in Spain's Calpe. The building makes clear references to the popular architecture of the Arab Mediterranean Area, a result of the architects' inspiration by the Mediterranean tradition of the casbah. The striking colors that cover the outer and inner facades are selected to either contrast with nature or complement its purity.

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

AD Classics: Xanadú / Ricardo Bofill

One of many large experiments in housing conducted by Taller de Arquitectura, Xanadú is an experimental prototype that reflects on the team's theory of a garden city in space. Built as part of the La Manzanera development, which also houses the nearby La Muralla Roja , the project contains 18 apartments intended to be summer homes.

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill

  • Architects: Ricardo Bofill
  • Location: Sant Pere de Ribes, Barcelona, Spain
  • Architect: Ricardo Bofill
  • References: Ricardo Bofill/Taller de Arquitectura
  • Project Year: 1968
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill, wikimedia commons

© wikimedia commons Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill