IconicHouses.org

icons at risk

Garden City La Butte Rouge

Architects: Joseph Bassompiere and Paul de Rutte
Year of construction: 1931-1965
Location: Châtenay-Malabry, (Hauts-de-Seine), France

Threatened with demolition
Latest update 27 November 2020

  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Docomomo France.
  • Le quartier de la Butte-Rouge à Châtenay-Malabry (Hauts-de-Seine). Photo Barbara Gutglas in Le Monde.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo © Carte postale de la Butte Rouge.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Docomomo France.
  • Le quartier de la Butte-Rouge à Châtenay-Malabry (Hauts-de-Seine). Photo Barbara Gutglas in Le Monde.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo © Carte postale de la Butte Rouge.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.
  • Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Sipane Hoh.

About the Housing Scheme

La Butte-Rouge is one the biggest interwar social mass housing schemes in the environs of Paris. Situated 12 km south of the city, it was the brainchild of Henri Sellier, director of the Office public d'habitations de la Siene. Originally conceived in 1919 by the architects Joseph Bassompiere (1871-1950) and Paul de Rutte (1871-1943) as part of the Paris extension plan, construction didn't start until 1929, continued up till the mid 1930s and did not resume until after the second world war. Although influenced by the early garden city movement, the layout here was made more formal with a hierarchy of roadways and public squares. Planting was important and the landscape architect responsible for the overall scheme was Andre Riousse, with the architect Paul Sirvin (1871-1977) helping to implement the designs of Bassompiere and de Rutte.

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.

Latest News

Détails d’Architecture, 26 September 2020
Le Cité-Jardin de la Butte Rouge, un patrimoine à protéger

Architectural Highlights

According to Docomomo France's appeal against demolition: '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. 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.'

Threat

Demolition of 8 buildings of the Garden-city of La Butte Rouge.

Garden City La Butte Rouge

Joseph Bassompiere and Paul de Rutte

1931-1965, France

Garden City La Butte Rouge. Photo Docomomo France.