Concrete Paris

Concrete Paris

Concrete Paris

Date & Time

25/02/2021 - 08/03/2022
All Day


30min I Radio sound journey I 28 February 2021 I BBC Radio 3 Between the Ears / Iain Chambers

A radiophonic sound journey by composer Iain Chambers around the lesser-known cities of Paris which lie beyond the ring road and are built from concrete.

Paris is well known for its historic architecture: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomph, and the endless rows of apartment buildings built by Hausmann in the 19th century. But beyond the historic centre lie a series of alternative Parisian cities, built from concrete during the 1960s and 70s.

This lesser-known concrete Paris creates a surprising journey around the Boulevard Périphérique, the ring road that contains the historic centre of Paris.

These alternative Parises were built after World War 2, when the need to provide mass accommodation was counterbalanced by the desire to protect the historic centre. So a ‘multi-polar’ solution was found, and the administrations beyond the Péripherique – many of them Communist – set to work commissioning architects to reimagine the city. We visit buildings at Ivry-sur-Seine designed by Jean Renaudie and Renée Gailhoustet; Bobigny, by Oscar Niemeyer; and Créteil, by Gérard Grandval.


BBC Radio 3 / BBC I-Player – available as download