May 14, 2017

An architectural discovery of Paris

With hubby travelling, Expat boy studying for exams, Expat girl off on a theatre retreat I was at risk of spending most of my weekend glued to the computer.

As usual Les Mots et les Arts, my favourite French tour company, had just the ticket: BALADE ARTISTIQUE AUTOUR DE MONTSOURIS.

Opened in 1869, Parc Montsouris is one of Paris' four large urban public parks and located in the 14th arrondissement. This 15 hectare park, designed as an English landscape garden with lovely century old trees, had been brought to life thanks to engineer Jean-Charles Alphand under Napoleon III.

My big discovery was the rather funky architecture surrounding the park. I was to learn that in the mid-1920s Montmartre became slightly too expensive for up and coming artists who decided to move south making the Montsouris area their home.

Thanks to this movement there are an extraordinary amount of ateliers still to be found in this neighbourhood. Nowadays, most are private residences and therefore cannot be visted from the inside but the facades of buildings are fascinating. No wonder, considering they were designed by such talents as Auguste Perret, Michel Roux-Spitz, André Lurçat, Amédée Ozenfant or Le Corbusier, all legendary French modernist architect of their time.

Have peek inside Villa Guggenbühl:

Walking into Parc Montsouris expecting a rather boring tour...

... turns out it was to be one of the most inspiring walks in a long time!

Even the hobos are writing in their diary 
as la Parisienne reads her book on the bench next door

Art Deco RER train station with the Cité Universitaire behind it

Villa Guggenbühl, named after its owner from Zürich designed by André Lurcat

Rue George Braque - a little secret cobbled cul de sac - named after the great artist

 His atelier hidden behind the bamboo

I wonder who his neighbours were?

Looking up the Square de Montsouris ... another enchanting discovery

Discretion is key

Love this energetic entrance

Spot the local resident

Wondering if Prince Charming will get passed this rose hedge...

... or if Romeo will reach his balcony?

Cinderella is feeding her little friends 

Convinced Disney's inspiration for Belle's hometown came from here 

Shift in style and colours

Wondering how much the m2 would costs...

... and who lives behind these doors?

Love this entrance design

Unmistakably Le Corbusier 

Walking into another charming cul de sac: Villa Seurat

André Lucat's home is currently on sale: click here

For a more detailed description see this French site: click here

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