Wednesday, March 15, 2017

City Of Concrete

Paris architecture.  Incredibly ugly.   It's probably unfair that these photos are black and white, and don't show the context of these structures as they are placed.  OTOH, it looks like the structures are mostly gray and dark gray, so maybe it's the only fair way to show them.


Cambias said...

The outskirts of Paris is one of the ugliest cityscapes I've ever seen. Once you get past the Boulevard Peripherique around the old city proper, the rest of metro Paris is a museum of bad architecture and city planning. They've got it all: state-sponsored poor-people-jail housing projects, loopy corporate HQ towers, ugly suburban sprawl, all of it crammed together in the most dehumanizing way possible.

In fact, Paris is merely the worst example, but a lot of French post-WWII architecture is pretty awful, really. The French built lovely, human-scale cities right up to the arrival of the Wehrmacht, but since then they've jumped onto each horrible architectural fad -- with state power and money to back them up.

English suburbs are boring but at least look like they'd be nice to live in. Italian suburbs are crowded and untidy, but fairly well-designed. American suburbs may be sprawling and sterile, but they're prosperous. France gets the worst of them all.

jaed said...

I've heard it commented on before that in the US, the inner cities are where the poor people live and the outlying areas hold wealthy people (and the middle class, also). But in Paris, the inner city is where the wealthy live and the poor people live in the outskirts.

Doug said...

Looks like the same "brutalism" architecture style of UMASS Dartmouth. Not only was it ugly, but completely ineffective. It was hot and dark in the summer, cold and dark in the winter, and leaked everywhere when it rained. I heard they have made a number of changes to the library, looking forward to visiting there when I am back in the area.

Some examples:

james said...

My first impression was that many of the designs are neither attractive nor useful, and certainly not organic, but simply arbitrary.
My first thought was that if I were a unemployed non-native youth who had to live within that sort of arbitrary layout, it would make me feel even more of an alien.

That's probably wrong, since you get used to what you grow up with, and ignore oddities that startle outsiders.