Utopies Réalisées : a different view of 20th century architecture
Did you say Utopies ?
Regarded these days as simply a whim or an idealist scheme that does not take into account the reality of today, Utopie originally described a counter-plan that was more ambitious than unfeasible in the face of difficult circumstances. The Utopies Réalisées of Lyon's urban area define the refusal of politicians and architects of the time to put up with the tragic state of living conditions in the 1920s and after the Second World War.
Faced with a shortage of housing that was fit for purpose, politicians took the courageous step of launching bold schemes to create new social housing. Together with a few avant-garde architects like Le Corbusier, Tony Garnier, or Jean Renaudie, they shared the conviction that architecture and modern urbanism can contribute to a better world.
A different view of the city
The Utopies Réalisées include 5 sites :
- Cité des Etats-Unis Tony Garnier in Lyon
- Quartier des Gratte-ciel in Villeurbanne
- Convent of La Tourette in Eveux
- Le Corbusier's site in Firminy-Vert
- Cité des Etoiles in Givors
Each project individually represents the success of modern architecture on both a national and an international level. But the reason for grouping them together goes beyond the simple accumulation of their respective qualities. Together they tell a story, that of the Modern Movement: simple geometric forms, the emergence of roof terraces and minimalist, functional décor. This new language, which endeavoured to be universal, brought with it a profound contemplation of urban life and how the city should be transformed, as well as how architecture could be a conduit for social links and provide a means for residents to flourish.
5 projects, one ambition, a century...
The position of these new social projects on a historical timeline highlights the evolution of this ambition over the greater part of the 20th C. The pioneering avant-garde phase encountered in Lyon and Villeurbanne reached its peak in Eveux and Firminy, where modernity prevailed within the context of reconstruction and of high-rise estates. Challenges to this direction led to a rekindling of the original ideas which then emerged in Givors where the complex combination of triangular designs gave renewed vigour to a language that was fast becoming commonplace.
Download the brochure
(Texts in English included)
All the Utopies Réalisées in a book ...
You can now discover the fascinating history of the Utopies Réalisées in a book that has just been published. This 160-page book is written in French as well as in English, and is available in foreign bookstores from January 6th onwards. A DVD with the Utopies Réalisées short film, based on Gilles Ragot's interview, is included.
For further information : email@example.com
... as well as a video !
This 12-minute movie takes you to the heart of the Utopies Réalisées. Based on 20th C heritage expert Gilles Ragot's interview, discover the 5 sites, their history and the adventures of their creation.
The Utopies on the internet
The Utopies réalisées website is online since March 2011. All you need to know about the Utopies Réalisées is there ! http://www.utopies-realisees.com/.
Listen to the Utopies
Discover the 5 Utopies Réalisées on your mp3 player or your mobile. Download these free 25-mn audiotours at http://www.utopies-realisees.com/. A guiding map is included.
Musée Urbain Tony Garnier
tél : 04 78 75 16 75
Le Corbusier's site in Firminy-Vert
Maison de la Culture de Firminy
tél : 04 77 61 08 72
Etoiles de Givors
Office de Tourisme du Grand Lyon - Antenne Fleuve Rhône
tél : 04 78 07 41 38
Convent of la Tourette in Eveux
Tél : 04 72 19 10 90