Saturday, February 2, 2013

Repost: The Alien Beauty of Les Arènes de Picasso

An architecturally-inclined friend of mine pointed me towards Untapped Cities, a site that examines interesting and largely unknown qualities about major travel destinations. It seems sort of like a mix between a cultural blog and Lonely Planet, and that seems like a pretty awesome little niche. In particular I was directed towards a post from January 2012 about mass housing units in the suburbs of Paris, and despite how boring that description sounds it's actually a really cool piece.

The whole article is worth a read but I just want to focus on the bit about Les Arènes de Picasso. It's the building pictured at the top of this post, and as author Charles-Antoine Perrault explains,
In the post-Modernist tradition, Spanish architect Manolo Nuà ±ez Yanowsky intended to break with standardized, functional modern architecture. The overall setting is highly symbolic–the two circular modules are aligned on an axis parallel to the Equator and are meant to represent the wheels of an overturned chariot.
 The building is strikingly unique, especially when you consider that this is a mass housing unit that contains "540 dwellings, a kindergarten, a high school and a few convenience stores." I would love to see this place used as a set in a movie, either in a Bond flick like with Hashima Island in Skyfall (check that link out by the way, it's a really cool story itself) or as a deserted setting in a post-apocalyptic flick à la London at the beginning of 28 Days Later. Sadly, given the fact that Les Arènes de Picasso is a housing unit and at least one school, it's unlikely that it would be used as a film setting. Still though, the design of the place is just so out-there that it would be beautiful to see on film. I could imagine a really interesting tracking shot that takes advantage of the columns seen at the bottom of the image up top. They've got kind of a Sagrada Família vibe (see below), very cool stuff.

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'Reposts' are inspired by other articles or blog posts around the Internet. They are used here with accreditation as the basis for short bursts of Max's interests.

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