Les Choux de Créteil is a grouping of ten cylindrical buildings, each 15 stories in height, in the Paris suburb of Créteil. The project is known as Les Choux (the cauliflowers), due to the unusual shape of their balconies. They are housing blocks with a difference. The buildings were designed by architect Gérard Grandval, and were completed in 1974.
The project was recognized as a "Heritage of the 20th Century" from the French Ministry of Culture (16 December 2008); at the time the work was regarded as a symbol of 1970s French architecture.
The buildings' unique shape is intended to be functional; the apartments' living spaces are closer to the windows, and the 2-meter-tall balconies provide outdoor access and privacy at the same time. The round balconies were intended to evoke gardens and seasons.
The project was initiated in 1966, in an area which had been used for a century to produce much of the vegetables for Parisian tables. This fact was undoubtedly on the architect's mind as he envisioned his structures.
In 1998 the municipality opted to upgrade the area. The central sprout, largely dedicated to families of precarious means, was rebuilt. To encourage social intermixing, the leaders dedicated a fourth of the apartments to students.