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Laurent Kronental: The Latest Architecture and News

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

04:00 - 1 October, 2015
A Utopian Dream Stood Still: Ricardo Bofill's Postmodern Parisian Housing Estate of Noisy-le-Grand, Les Espaces d'Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, 2014. Image ©  Laurent Kronental
Les Espaces d'Abraxas, Noisy-le-Grand, 2014. Image © Laurent Kronental

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 + 20