by Jacqueline Feldman
Olympiades in the 13th Arrondissement is a complex of skyscrapers built in the 1960s. At the time, President Georges Pompidou pushed quickly planned, retrospectively maligned projects to “modernize” Paris and accommodate population boom during the so-called Thirty Glorious Years after the Second World War.
On the occasion of a new exhibit at Pavillon de l’Arsenal, I wrote about Olympiades online at The Atlantic Cities:
“The Man Who Tried to Change the Soul of Paris,” 20 February 2013
The towers’ inhabitants, when they are not complaining about the empty police station on the slab, sometimes say Olympiades is a village, where longtime residents know one another. Here is a link to the blog of the residents’ association, ENVOL (Envie de Vivre aux Olympiades).
Architect Michel Holley’s utopian vision for Olympiades involved naming the buildings after cities that hosted the Olympics. After a press tour of the exhibit, I heard curator Françoise Moiroux explain her theory as to why there is no Paris Tower.
“Because they had to make people dream,” she said. “Foreign cities always inspire more dreams than the city of Paris.”
Here are some nice photos of the Chinese New Year parade Sunday at the base of Olympiades, at the site of the city of Paris.