de porte à porte. Filming social housing

de porte à porte. Filming social housing
Views from the Poissonniers Tower, before it will start their renovation next year. credits: docar.
A documentary film of a housing estate in Paris that represents the first steps of a national change of paradigm from demolition to transformation.

Paris, France
Film collective exploring urban stories, focused on the current housing and environmental crisis, as both a political and an architectural matter.
Team members
Rocio Calzado
Jasper Meurer
Field of work
Architecture, Multimedia, Film, Research
Project category
Project submitted

We are Jasper Meurer and Rocio Calzado, a duo of a German cineast and a Spanish architect who met while studying politics in Paris. It is the merge of these three disciplines, cinema, architecture and politics that has given birth to our documentary film collective docar. Our ongoing film project De Porte a Porte has been awarded with the FAIRE experimental grant 2023 from the Arsenalle Pavillion in Paris.

docar. is a film collective that explores, through audiovisual methods, the existing housing crisis, as both an architectural and political matter. The collective translates the academic research activity of their members, into filmed stories. This activity aims to establish dialogues between the research community, local realities and artistic initiatives. The collective is currently focused on two main activities: The theoretical exploration of audiovisual material as alternative research methods in political sciences studies, and the development of the Film ‘de porte à porte' (from door to door). This film is nourrished on the ongoing PhD project of one of the members of docar. and is part of the political studies department of the civil engineering school of Paris.

De porte à porte is a documentary film that explores the history of seven social housing towers located along the Paris ring road, from Porte Pouchet to Porte de Poissonniers. Designed by architect Raymond Lopez in the 1960s as part of a larger urban project named Secteur 8, these towers shared architectural aesthetics and construction methods, yet their life trajectories varied significantly. While some faced demolition, others underwent transformation; some achieved architectural acclaim, while others, initially slated for destruction, have been saved and are now undergoing renovation.

This disparity in the fates of the seven towers reveals the story of a paradigm shift in the urban renewal sector, one that has replaced the paradigm of demolition of social housing with that of transformation in France. Our film proposes a visual journey that explores this shift. Through thiw piece we aim to examine how architecture, urban planning and local politics worked together to tackle a problem with such a significant social and ecological impact.