Brutalist Paris

Nigel Green


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Blue Crow Media
16 February 2023
ISBN: 9781912018734
192 pages

From the publisher

Brutalist Paris is the first thoroughly researched, English language study of Parisian Brutalist architecture. It constructs a unique photographic record of over 50 buildings across Paris and brings a new interpretation of Brutalism in the French context. The book is the result of many journeys, from the Parisian centre to its outer peripheries, and situates Brutalism within the broader social, political and cultural context of Paris, including its appearance in film and television. It describes Brutalism’s successes and failures in Paris, from an architecture of monumental urban form to intricately crafted living spaces; from valued, historic monuments to abandoned ruins.



“The successes and failures of Parisian brutalism are recounted in this valuable work […] The peregrination explores the Grands Ensembles, the housing estates and ZUPs, satellite places designed as alternative and modern environments, today an integral part of the heritage of Greater Paris.” – Alice Bialestowski in AMC Architecture

“The book's authors go beyond the contemporary aesthetic attention that Brutalism has garnered in recent years. They analyze the evolution of the style's definitions, examine the relationship between the projects and their site/landscape, and explore experimental programmatic and design concepts that the movement offers to contemporary architectural concerns. Through their analysis, Wilson and Green unpack the complexity of Brutalist architecture, providing valuable insights into the movement's lasting significance.” – Danae Santibanez in ArchDaily

“A wonderful book which explodes the myth of Paris as a theme-park of the nineteenth century, this compelling compendium of Brutalism builds on Blue Crow's excellent architectural maps to give a wholly different and striking view of the city.” – Eddie Heathcote in the Financial Times

“It is strange given the enormous wealth of extremely high modernist architecture in and (mainly) around Paris that there isn't a book in English on the subject already... This one steps into the breach nicely and obliquely - it has a very useful gazetteer of buildings and housing estates and excellent photographs, but avoids both sociology and 'fuck yeah concrete' fetishism, preferring serious analysis of what Parisian Brutalism actually is in terms of structure, materials and urban form.” – Owen Hatherley

“Brutalist Paris is very far from being a light-hearted skim over the uncompromising aesthetics of the city’s post-war concrete architecture. Instead, it puts the spotlight on 50 key buildings, connecting them with seven academic essays that look deep into French culture’s relationship with architecture, modernity, and social change.” – Jonathan Bell in Wallpaper

“This delightful alternative guide to the wonders of Paris foregrounds the city’s extraordinary brutalist heritage and is a must read for any armchair traveller or urban explorer.” – John Grindrod