Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Building at 5, rue Vésale in the 5th Arrondissement

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
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Electrical Substation

Electrical Substation
Photograph by

This building of iron and brick standing at 5, rue Vésale in the 5th arrondissement used to be an electrical substation of the Compagnie Parisienne de Distribution d’Electricité. It once provided electrical power to the Gobelins quarter, but now serves as an emergency shelter for needy families.

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A Remarkable Structure that Most Tourists Will Never See –
The Bercy 2 Commercial Center

Friday, June 25th, 2010
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Centre Commercial Bercy 2
(c) Discover Paris!

Looking ever so much like a spaceship that has landed to take on passengers, the Bercy 2 Commercial Center is bounded on three sides by river, freeway, and railroad track, just outside the city limits of Paris. It was constructed from 1987 to 1990 by Renzo Piano, a world-renowned architect and winner of a number of prestigious awards. The roof is composed of 27,000 panels of stainless steel mounted on laminated-wood beams. Although futuristic looking on the outside, the interior would look familiar to anyone who frequents modern shopping centers. The structure is handsome and spacious inside, and while ascending the gentle slopes of the escalators, one can see the porthole skylights and the curves of the ribcage-like supports of the roof.

Pedestrian access to the commercial center is by bus 24, which stops at the entrance.

Mr. Piano also designed the famous Centre Pompidou, built in Paris from 1971 to 1978, as well as many other spectacular buildings throughout the world.

View of Roof
(c) Discover Paris!

Promenade with Patrick Jouin – Part 1

Sunday, March 21st, 2010
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Patrick Jouin at the Centre Pompidou
(c) Discover Paris!

On Saturday, March 13, I joined a group called Promenades Urbaines for a walk around Paris with Patrick Jouin, an architect who has been involved in the creation of a number of projects for the city. Mr. Jouin calls himself (in French) a designer. I’m not sure what the equivalent would be in English, but it would encompass architecture as well as interior and industrial design. In any event, there is no denying his creative spirit and enthusiasm for the projects that he has been engaged in. The promenade took us all over Paris to view a number of his works in the public and in the private sectors, including the new generation of outdoor public toilets, or sanisettes (of which he is particularly proud), and the Velib’ bicycle stations. In the private sector, he has designed cooking utensils, eating utensils, lamps, and chairs, as well as the interiors of restaurants, including Alain Ducasse’s posh Plaza Athénée. I plan to present some of his creations in future blog entries. In the meantime, travelers to Paris can visit an exhibition of his works, entitled Patrick Jouin, La substance du design, at the Centre Pompidou through May 24.