For half a decade Zupagrafika studio, author and publisher of "Brutal East", "Brutal London" and "Blokoshka", has been documenting post-war modernist housing estates around Europe in the form of illustrated paper model collections. While working on each series they took numerous portraits celebrating those who inhabit the buildings they worked on (some doomed to premature demolition). The pictures have been collected in a photo album called "The Tenants".
"The Tenants" is a brutalist tour around various cities of the former Eastern Bloc and beyond, capturing dwellers of some of the post-war modernist edifices present in Zupagrafika`s publications, proudly holding detailed paper models of their homes with real buildings in the background. Some photos show them in a difficult moment in time, awaiting proximate demolitions - "Our future is uncertain, they will eventually make us move out... I`m not afraid of changes, I just hope I can afford them.." - said Shamim from the third floor of Robin Hood Gardens, London brutalist icon.
"When we were shooting the building for our collection "Brutal London", the Smithson`s design was still standing, today it sadly is under demolition..." - says Zupagrafika. In other pictures we can see the very first tenants of those edifices who continue to live in the same apartments till today- like Eduardo who has lived in Orgues de Flandre`s Tour Prelude for the past 30 years and says he wouldn`t change this place for any other flat in Paris even though "the neighbourhood changed considerably in the `90s and isn`t that safe anymore" and "the new neighbours are sometimes noisy after 10 p.m"; or Wiesław from "Gwiazdy" estate who remembers the first day he entered his new home in late 1970s and saw the panorama of Katowice from his top floor flat "I will never forget this view, we had all the facilities, it felt so modern..".
Meet the tenants Zupagrafika had the pleasure to shoot and speak to in cities of the former Eastern Bloc and beyond, such as: Warsaw, Katowice, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Chisinau, Wrocław, Poznań...
All brutalist paper collections by Zupagrafika, "Miasto Blok-How" (Poznan, 2012), "Eastern Block" (Warsaw, 2014), "Brutal London" (London, 2015), "Blokowice" (Katowice, 2015), "Paris Brut" (Paris, 2016), and "Brutal East" (Former Eastern Bloc, 2017) are available in the studio`s online shop: https://goo.gl/gD4Lse
More info: zupagrafika.com
#1 St Petersburg. Novosmoloenskaya Housing Complex. Photo By Alexander Veryovkin For Zupagrafika, 2017
#2 Paris. Cité Curial-michelet. 2016. Recently Refurbished
#3 Paris. Les Choux De Créteil, 2016
#4 Chisinau. “romanița” Collective Housing Tower. Photo By Mihail Kalarashan For Zupagrafika. 2017
#5 London. Balfron Tower. 2015
#6 Warsaw. Rotunda Pko. 2014. Demolished
#7 Wroclaw. “manhattan” Housing Complex. 2017. Recently Refurbished
#8 Katowice. "gwiazdy" Estate. 2015
#9 Warsaw. Tarchomin Estate. 2013. Currently Under Thermo-modernization
#10 Katowice. Odrodzenia Estate. Currently Under Thermo-modernization. 2015