Appeal from architects and town planners: Oppose the demolition of the Garden-city of La Butte Rouge

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Oppose the demolition of the Garden-city of La Butte Rouge Châtenay Malabry (France)

Appeal from architects and town planners |  April 6, 2019

By means of an exhibition we have been informed of the intended demolition of 8 buildings of the Garden-city of La Butte Rouge.

This unique and outstanding achievement of 4,000 flats on a 70-hectare ground is a paradigm of the successful combination of social reform and architectural innovation.

Considering the exceptional nature of the Garden-city of La Butte Rouge in Châtenay-Malabry, an internationally acknowledged urban model –both in terms of architecture and landscapes as well as in terms of social and economic issues –such features being all the more relevant in today’s context of climate change mitigation and adaptation, it would be utter nonsense to tear down even the smallest part of this whole and coherent masterpiece, without due consultation of the stakeholders; inasmuch as the site also happens to be the home of thousands of people.

Architects Joseph Bassompierre, Paul de Rutté, Paul Sirvin, André Arfvidson and the landscape gardener André Riousse, on behalf of Henri Sellier, a major French politician designed the entire project which was completed over seven phases ranging from 1931 to 1965.

The value of the Garden-city of La Butte Rouge is comparable to that of other European Garden-cities, which due to their exceptional value, have been rated Unesco World Heritage and have therefore become unquestionable tourist attractions, just as it is the case in Berlin for example.

We cannot highlight enough how essential it is to rehabilitate – or at least manage and maintain – with the appropriate respect and a real vision this high quality heritage which is famous throughout the world and keeps inspiring today’s architects and will be pivotal to the following generations.

This housing scheme provides its 10,000 inhabitants with daily enjoyment and they should remain on location, if complete and yet economical and efficient rehabilitation takes place; it could in turns inspire similar operations as a followup of those already performed in Stains and Pré Saint-Gervais.

We request all legal options to protect this unique housing scheme to be considered and strongly oppose any unmotivated demolition which is not part of a complete urban, architectural and landscape project. The Garden city has managed to endure throughout the entire 20th century and we truly hope it will continue to exist for the benefit of the future generations.

First Signatories hereto :

Henri Bava, Agence Ter, Grand Prix de l'urbanisme 2018 (2018 Town Planner Grand Prize)

Frédéric Bonnet, Grand Prix de l'urbanisme 2014 (2014 Town Planner Grand Prize)

Pierre Bouillon Prix de la Première OEuvre 2006 (2006 Prize of the First Work)

Joan Busquets, urbanisme Prix spécial du jury 2011(2011 Town Planner Special Prize of the Jury)

Jean-Louis Cohen, professeur au Collège de France (Professor at the Collège de France)

Pierre Gauthier FIMBACTE, catégorie projets innovants, Grand Prix (F) 2011 (2011 Grand Prize, innovative projects category)

François Grether Grand prix de l’urbanisme 2012 (2012 Town Planner Grand Prize)

Franz Graf, professeur à l’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Pablo Katz, membre titulaire de l'académie d'architecture (incumbent member of the Academy of Architecture)

Richard Klein, Professeur ENSPAL, Président de Docomomo France

Christine Leconte, lauréate du palmarès des jeunes urbanistes 2010 (2010 prize winner of young town planners award winners)

Florence Lipsky, équerre d'argent 2005 (2005 Silver T-square)

Ariella Masboungi, Grand Prix de l'urbanisme 2016 (2016 Town Planner Grand Prize)

Studio Muoto, Gilles Delalex et Yves Moreau Equerre d’argent 2O16 (2016 Silver T-square)

Jean-Louis Subileau Grand prix de l’urbanisme 2001 (2001 Town Planner Grand Prize)

Pierre Veltz, Grand Prix de l'urbanisme 2017 (2017 Town Planner Grand Prize)