On the outskirts of Paris, there lies what was promise of a better future in an unlikely shape: ten cylindrical towers, each 15 stories tall, with curved concrete balconies, known as Les Choux de Créteil – the Cabbages. Designed by architect Gérard Grandval and completed in 1974, the Cabbages are housing blocks with a difference. Their unique shape, as seen in the above photo, also has a function: the apartments’ living spaces are closer to the windows and the balconies – each of which are 2 meters tall – provide both direct outdoor access and privacy.
The Cabbages are one of the designs featured in the new book The Tale of Tomorrow: Utopian Architecture in the Modernist Realm. Drawing inspiration from the space age, and materials like concrete and glass, the designs suggested an idealistic future full of promise. Or as Sofia Borges writes in the introduction, “The future never looked better than in the past.”
From Eero Saarinen to Le Corbusier, Oscar Neimeyer to Lina Bo Bardi, along with other major 20th century architects, the book explores this futuristic, elegant architectural movement. Here is selection of images from the book: