Sunday, April 15, 2012

Architecture in Paris - the old and the new.....


Everyone knows all the famous buildings and monuments in Paris that dominate the skyline and become everyone's instant images of the city - the Eiffel Tower, the Sacre Coeur, the Louvre, Les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, but what about these two buildings representing the modern and the traditional in terms of Arab architecture in the city - the Institut du Monde Arabe and the Mosquee de Paris......


The Institute of the Arab World was established between 1980 and 1987 by France and 20 Arab countries to promote cultural links between the West and the Arab world, and the architecture itself celebrates a fusion of both modern and traditional Arab and Western elements. Thousands of mushrabiyah, photo-sensitive apertures which imitate traditional lattice windows, open and close by electric motors thus controlling the amount of heat and light entering the building. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the facade is most striking and the building has subsequently  won numerous awards.....


The Paris Mosque was built in 1926 in the traditional ornate Moorish style with its beautiful 26m high minaret, and intricate tiles and mosaics in islamic geometric designs. The central courtyards and fountains outlined by pillars create an oasis of calm in a busy part of the city. Within the complex there is also a library, hammam, tearoom and N.African restaurant....


I thought it would be interesting to view these two buildings and their architectural elements side by side to witness the influence and fusion of the old and the new....




France as a multicultural society has been sorely tested by recent events, and as the country goes to the polls in a few weeks' time, perhaps the integration of these two buildings more into the mainstream of monumental Paris will become more and more important.....Be sure to visit when you are next in Paris......

6 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Stunning captures, Catherine, and a fascinating post for the day! I always admire your collages! Superb! Hope you have a great week!

Sylvia

EG CameraGirl said...

I do love the architecture!

louciao said...

Fascinating to see the influence of the old upon the new. Thank you for putting them side by side. As interesting and clever as the modern take on the old designs may be, I still prefer the original. It seems it would be a lovely place to escape the busy-ness of the city and sit in quiet contemplation.

Malyss said...

I've never been there, but each time I see pictures of that place, I think that I should go, as the architecture is really amazing!

Fly Girl said...

Well these building are unexpected, my idea of Paris architecture is 18th century European structures. This is a really interesting perspective on modern Paris.

Francisca said...

Superb post, Catherine. Your images and montages are gorgeous. Both the old and the new architecture are impressive. In all the times I've been to Paris, I've missed this. (Perhaps because I've never really been there as a tourist.) I'm so saddened by the socio-political stresses seen everywhere these days.