Barcelona page: the architecture of Antoni Gaudì and other catalan architects.
Kew Gardens’ glasshouses page: including the Palm House, a marvellous and beautiful place.
Its form is extremely pure and balanced, and being inside among the palm trees and the steam is a very pleasant moment.
Paris page: Paris and its vicinity buildings, from the Louvre pyramid, to Hector Guimard’s subway entrance, including Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, the Menier chocolate factory in Noisiel and some more.
The St Georges swimming pool in Rennes, is a little jewel from the beginning of the 20th century. The mosaics and enamel of the brick facade are a preamble to the superb mosaic of the pool itself, which inspired the “Dive!” theme I made for this site.
Other buildings from this period include the halles centrales building, a covered market which walls are decorated with enamel tiles and fountains.
It also used to be my home (see the sunsets I caught from my window, and the parking lot under the snow). You can also get high angle or ground angle shots. The geometry of the facade is full of curves and shadows.
Here’s also its almost namesake The Horizon, from the architect Harry Seidler, built in 1998 in Sydney.
Fougères, about 50 km northeast of Rennes, features an impressive castle, its oldest parts dating back from the 12th century, it is positioned in an interesting way, below the highest point of the city.
Its steep walls, built on a rocky outcrop, enclose various courts, and are built between a dozen various towers. The Hallay tower is at the entrance, close to the heavily transformed Coigny tower and its weather-worn doorway.
At the far end of the castle, the Mélusine tower is impressive and hides a dungeon. With the Gobelin tower, they used to protect the now-levelled keep. There’s also a very-well defended entrance on this northern side of the castle.
Other parts of the abbey remain, a commons building where an opening frames a garden, and a meeting hall featuring a palm tree (not of the vegetation kind) pillar. There’s only one other such palm tree in France, in the Jacobins church in Toulouse.
Ducey castle, home of the Montgomery family, has been unearthed from the remnants of an old distillery plant. It features three materials, and has a huge entrance staircase. The scars of when it was partially destroyed remain.
Inside the entrance, a huge staircase unfolds, bathed in soft light, and covered by a timber frame.
Inside, the stained-glass project colours on the walls.
The attic is all wood and stone, and a rusty boiler has been left in the basement.
La Lucerne d’Outremer
This gothic cathedral is situated in Normandy, in the same city as the famous tapestry.
The city of Cherbourg has turned its transatlantic wharf, a building where people boarded ocean liners into a sea-focused exhibition center. This concrete and brick building is nicely lit by a semi-translucent vault.
Pays de Loire
I’ve lived in Nantes for 2 years, and apart from misty mornings on the Loire…
Nantes cathedral emerges above the surrounding houses.
North of the city, the Sillon de Bretagne also emerges above the landscape, with its striped blue and white facades, its emergency staircases and its wing zigzagging through a park. As opposed to Les Horizons, this high-rise is far from downtown, and the only one of its kind in its neighbourhood.
The owners must be happy people… A superb restoration of what looks like a tannery building in Clisson, southeast of Nantes.
This little city is worth a look, with a lot of Italian influence in the architecture of the church and of a country palace where exhibitions are held.
The Saint-Nazaire train station abandoned in the mist.
Chauvigny, near Poitiers, is a small city where the traces of 5 successive castles remain on a hilltop.
While one has only its foundations left, others keep only sections of walls, making a landscape for medieval fantasies, with exhibitions of live raptor and carrion birds.
In Niort downtown, a street has been refurbished to lessen car traffic, and the separation between walkway and street is made of bronze dragons.
Another important building in Amiens, the Perret tower, a housing tower from the architect Perret. It was an innovation as far as material was concerned, but it was fairly typical of reconstruction architecture.