Collective Social Housing Les Arenes de Picasso

Les Arènes de Picasso is a contemporary residential building in Noisy-le-Grand, France. Designed by Spanish-French architect Manuel Núñez Yanowsky, the construction of this iconic structure was completed in 1984. The buildings are in the shape of huge discs and they are held by pedestals with arcades.

The purpose of the project was to upgrade the poor neighborhood’s status but due to its unique architectural features and civil engineering, it quickly became a landmark of the Seine-Saint-Denis department and now it attracts many tourists. Although the building is very famous today, the neighborhood it is in is considered a slum.

It was built in 1984 and designed by architect Manolo Nuñez-Yanowsky.

Les Arènes de Picasso in France

Made of concrete, the buildings house 540 social housing units, while octagonal square features boutiques, playgrounds, and a school.

Les Arènes de Picasso draws attention by being one of the first large-scale housing projects which were thoroughly prefabricated. The octagonal square also has a monumental sculpture by Miguel Berrocal in the center.


The locals nicknamed the building the ”Camemberts” after the soft creamy French cheese due to its shape.

Les Arènes de Picasso in France

This building already has become the part of the European architectural heritage and is in the list of the international heritage of civil engineering.

Les Arènes de Picasso in France

The 50m diameter discs symbolize the rising and the setting of the sun.

Les Arènes de Picasso in France