PCF may stand for “Place Colonel Fabien”, and also for the “Parti Communiste Français”, the French Communist Party. It happens so that the party’s headquarters are situated at the “Place Colonel Fabien”.
Colonel Fabien was a member of the French Communist Party, a volunteer for the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War and a resistant during WW II. (He made one of the first resistant acts, killing a German naval officer in the Paris metro. He was himself killed at the end of the war in December 1944.) He gave the name to the Place in 1945.
The French Communist Party, founded in 1920, played an important role in the French political life the years before WW II and especially the years after, when they reached close to 30% of the parliament seats. In the latest elections they reached about 4% and in the presidential elections their representative reached a small 2%.
This post is rather meant to treat with the building which houses the party. The building is designed on a voluntary basis, by Oscar Niemeyer, the today 102 years old Brazilian architect, particularly famous for what he created at Brasilia and also for other remarkable buildings in Brazil, but also abroad, including a major participation, together with Le Corbusier and others, in the UN building in NYC.
In 1980, the party could move in. Some of Niemeyer’s original drawings can be seen on a wall.
In addition to the remarkable “coupole” (see also top picture), where all larger meetings are held, there are a number of meeting rooms etc. on the ground floors. There is also space for temporary exhibitions.
Luckily, when I arrived, there was also a group of architecture students from the Columbia University and I could join. You can see them listening to a speech in the “coupole” and drawing on the roof.
From the roof, you have a nice view of Paris. You may see how Niemeyer managed to make the concrete structure follow the horizontal line.
Another detail, which is worth noticing, is Niemeyer’s wish to make a reference to Picasso’s famous “palomas” – you may have a closer look on the Google Earth picture.
This is again a pre-programmed post. I'm off for a couple of days.