FRAGMENTS_ Le Point du Jour

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During our road trip through France, Lies and I indulged both in breathtaking nature and stunning architecture, and today I’m concluding my report of our trip with the latter.  Le Point du Jour is a housing project designed by Fernand Pouillon between 1957 and 1963 in Boulogne-Billancourt, a Parisian suburb.  The twenty five buildings house no less than 260 apartments, facilities and shops and yet the site never feels dense, on the contrary!  The materials, the lines of the buildings, the greenery and the colors form a perfect composition that never bores the eye.  A must-see if you’re visiting Paris and prefer magnificent architecture over tourist traps, but then again, who doesn’t?

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FRAGMENTS_ Les grands ensembles de paris

fragments_-les-grands-ensembles-de-paris-hannelore-veelaert-au-pays-des-merveilles

Inspired by Laurent Kronental’s photo series Souvenir d’un Futur, Lies and I decided to see those Grands Ensembles in Paris for ourselves during last summer’s road trip through France.  These enormous housing projects were built between the 1970s and 1980s and were meant to be a solution to the housing crisis, urban migration and the inflow of foreign immigrants, while also meet modern needs.  The resulting buildings must have looked pretty futuristic back then, but nowadays they feel rather like the captivating movie decor of a Modernist utopian city.   We visited three of these Grands Ensembles in the outskirts of Paris during our trip (one of which I didn’t photograph because it felt inappropriate, but you might have already seen Bofill’s Les espaces d’Abraxas in the hunger games movies anyway) and today I’m sharing two, the circular Les Arénes de Picasso in Noisy-Le Grand, designed by Manuel Núñez Yanowsky and the Le Viaduc (1980) and Les Arcades du Lac (1975) in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, designed by Ricardo Bofill and dressed in rosy hues.  If you want to see more of our roadtrip, have a look here on the blog or here on instagram, and keep an eye out for my last post about our vacation if you’re enjoying these posts filled with stunning architecture!

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EXPLORED_ parc de bercy in Paris

parc de bercy via au pays des merveilles

After reading this description about Parc de Bercy, I couldn’t wait to explore this Parisian park.  It didn’t really live up to my expectations, maybe because I had my hopes up too high, maybe because I didn’t have much time to really discover this park since I was meeting up with Marijke later, but I did end up with some photos I’m pretty satisfied with.  Maybe next time I’m in Paris, I’ll give it another shot when I have more time on my hands!

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PARISIAN HOUSEWARMING

parisian housewarming via au pays des merveilles

My friend, who I was visiting in Paris, just moved into his new apartment a few days before I arrived.  That called for a house warming, and the boys planned this very nicely in the middle of my visit.  Here’s a little impression of what the coffee table looked like the morning after and how the apartment transformed from before the party until the morning after.  Luckily those boys know how to clean…

parisian housewarming via au pays des merveilles

all photos by me (except for top right)

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EXPLORED_ the Abbey Bookshop in Paris

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When it comes to bookshops in Paris, the most famous is without a doubt Shakespeare & Co.  But if you make the effort to walk two streets further,  The Abbey Bookshop is what you find.  This Canadian bookshop sells probably the same english literature (I am not sure since I didn’t feel like standing in line to enter Shakespeare & Co), but is much more quiet and I didn’t encounter one single tourist here…  Here you can explore thousands of books, stacked on bookshelves or piled up against the walls, while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee offered by the owners.  Definitely a must-visit when you’re a bookworm visiting Paris.

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PARIS

Paris via au pays des merveilles

After spending one week in Portugal, I took the plane straight from Lisbon to Paris.  Living in Belgium, we don’t often get the chance to fly to Paris, and I have to say landing in Paris around 11 PM has resulted in the most beautiful view I’ve ever had from a plane window.  No photos unfortunately, as I wasn’t seated by the window, but I still enjoyed the view a lot.  That being said: here’s a little impression of how I spent my days in Paris.  I was visiting a friend who lives there now, and he took me to all his favorite places.  We chilled by the Seine, had drinks at an amazing african bar slash vintage shop slash museum called Le Comptoir Général (80 quai de Jemappes) and explored Deyrolle, a wonderful taxidermy store (46 rue du Bac).  And those photos from the Louvre, you ask?  Those were taken when my friend was at work and I met up with Marijke, who you might know from the fantastic blog called Goesting.  Good times!

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

paris via au pays des merveille

all photos by me

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