Brutalist Architecture in Ivry

Brutalist architecture is as the name goes, quite brutal. We visited Ivry near Paris and strangely enough, I enjoyed the visit very much.

Brutalist Architecture in Ivry

When my wife told me we were en route to Ivry Sur Seine for a visit of local brutalist architecture, I thought she was raving mad. To me, 1970 was another word for ugly.

On rare occasions, the old and the new are next to one another.

Most of the time, the entire town centre is made of concrete slabs and sharp buildings at weird angles.

Little did I know that I would enjoy taking pictures so much over there. It’s not ugly at all, it’s even very aesthetic. I took hundreds of pictures. Brutalist architecture

Most of the buildings are by Jean Renaudie and Renée Gailhoustet two “brutalist” architects close to the communist party.

Brutalist architecture

We spent hours going from one building to another.

Ivry is a funny place. One minute it’s about brutalist architecture.

Brutalist architecture

The next you stumble upon a mini rose garden on a piece of wasteland and poetry is overwhelming.

Brutalist architecture

A few hundred yards further you feel like you are looking at the leaflet of some modernist architect.

Brutalist architecture

And a couple of streets further you look at puddles and start dreaming about the past, architecture and the beauty of life. No matter what, Ivry is a very interesting place.

Yann Gourvennec
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