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Death of Renée Gailhoustet, emblematic architect of social housing


This communist activist, who profoundly transformed Ivry-sur-Seine, wanted to offer an alternative to bars and residential towers. She passed away at 93.

Famous for her achievements in social housing in the Paris suburbs, Renée Gailhoustet died at the age of 93, announced the mayor of Ivry Philippe Bouyssou, where the architect-urban planner resided.

Renée Gailhoustet, one of the rare architects to live in one of her HLM creations, in Liégat, died overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in Ivry-sur-Seine, the place of her main achievements.

Communist activist in the 1960s, Renée Gailhoustet worked for forty years to express her social commitment through her vision of collective housing.

With her colleague Jean Renaudie, Renée Gailhoustet wants to offer an alternative to social housing bars and towers.

The duo is more focused on buildings in the city center.

They interlock passages and terraces, mix raw and vegetal concrete.

Innovation is not only formal, it is also functional.

Shops, offices, housing and public facilities must coexist harmoniously.

She put her expertise and her profession at the service of social housing.

She conceived of it as a space for exchanges, encounters and well-being, placing people at the center of her creations

”, welcomed Philippe Bouyssou.

Contribute to reflection on the quality of housing


With the aim of contributing to the reflection on the quality of housing in the productivist France of the postwar boom, she was one of the first women to exercise the profession of architect in her own name, designing and building ambitious projects in the outskirts of Paris

”, paid tribute on Saturday the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, in a press release.

And to continue: "

She led a demanding and prolific reflection on the individualization of social housing, refusing the standardized construction of that time


The Jeanne Hachette housing estate in Ivry-sur-Seine Bridgerman

Among his major achievements: the renovation of the town of Ivry-sur-Seine, with in particular the Raspail, Lénine, Jeanne Hachette and Casanova towers, as well as the Spinoza, Liégat and Marat ensembles.

It is also behind the construction of nearly 900 housing units in the Maladrerie district of Aubervilliers, in Seine-Saint-Denis, laid out in the form of concrete pyramids that also leave room for plants.

In Saint-Denis, it has also endeavored to preserve the industrial character of the buildings of the ZAC Montjoie.

In recognition of her work, in October she was awarded the Grand Prix national d'architecture (GPNA) honorary prize for her entire career.

She also received the Medal of Honor from the Academy of Architecture in 2018 and the Berlin Grand Prix of the Arts in 2019.

Several of the ensembles she has built benefit from the "Remarkable Contemporary Architecture" label and her first construction, the Tour Raspail in Ivry-sur-Seine, was listed in 2022 as a Historic Monument.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-07

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