Architecture is the physical form which envelops human lives in all the complexity of their relations with their environment.

Jean Renaudie, 1968

In my opinion, Jean Renaudie is one of the very best French architects of the last fifty years. His two housing complexes in Ivry sur Seine near Paris (see previous post) and in Givors near Lyon are two very successful examples of architecture becoming urban in an era (50’s-60’s) that created what is now famous as the French suburbs catastrophe. In fact, those two housing complexes are extremely interesting in the fact that they embody a real urban density, mix several social levels, organize urban life on a multitude of storeys, blur the limits between private and public areas and supply a little piece of garden to every apartment. This architecture is full of episodes, surprizing moments of beauty in an urban artefact/landscape full of hideaways.

In order to know more, I recommend Irenee Scalbert‘s book: A Right to Difference at AA Publications

The following photographs and plans are excerpted from this book.