A few months ago, French architect Renée Gailhoustet was awarded the 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize. As housing challenges continue to embattle Paris and other French cities today, Gailhoustet was a timely choice, her body of work in the Paris suburbs – stretching back to the 1960s – still functioning today as compelling case studies to a social housing approach that concurrently embraces community and has a uniqueness of form.
Ivry-sur-Seine: The Latest Architecture and News
Hard times bring people together. In recent years we have seen how collective work can be a driving force to help those affected by natural or man-made disasters. After a disaster or displacement, a safe physical environment is often essential. Therefore, the need for coordination becomes a key factor in assisting people in times of need.
Architects, as "Shelter Specialists", play an important role in creating safe and adequate environments, whether it is individual housing, public buildings, schools, or emergency tent camps. But as architect Diébédo Francis Kéré says, "When you have nothing and you want to convince your community to believe in an idea, it may happen that everybody starts working with you, but you need to keep fighting to convince them."
Designed by architect Renée Gailhoustet in 1972, the Cité Spinoza residential complex is part of the master plan created for downtown Ivry-sur-Seine, France. The project is a rendition of the Unité d'Habitation de Marseille by Le Corbusier, a major architectural reference for architects at that time. Architectural photographer Anthony Saroufim took the streets of the Parisian Banlieue and captured the modernist architecture's distinct concrete geometry.