Photographing the Forgotten Modernist Estates of Paris

The years between the early 1950’s and the 1980’s were immensely prosperous for Paris. Mass immigration and the urbanisation of the city quickly caused the population to rise and resulted in a housing crisis. To solve this problem, vast housing projects were built. These unique modernist estates sprung up across the city with the aim of creating a new Parisian lifestyle.

Less than twenty years later these huge structures look dated, dilapidated and forgotten. The buildings are occupied mostly by the now-elderly residents who first called them home, as the younger generation are drawn to more contemporary design.

Parisian photographer Laurent Kronental became enchanted with these estates, known locally as ‘Grands Ensembles’. Since 2011 he has developed ‘Souvenir d’un Futur’, a collection of photographs documenting the communities that live in these buildings. He also explores the modern day utopia that these buildings were supposed to create, contrasting this with the neglected state they are in today.

Photography: All Copyright Laurent Kronental via Bored Panda & Creative Boom

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