The chocolate plant in Noisiel is one of my favourite industrial buildings. Now the French headquarters of the Nestlé group, it had been the Menier family chocolate plant site since 1825, when they bought a simple mill on the Marne river.
In 1865, the first mill was replaced by a new one, the first industrial building with a metallic bearing facade in France, from the architect Jules Saulnier. The iron structure is filled with painted bricks and ceramics. The building crosses the river, blocking the water flow to feed turbines in the basement of the building, thus powering the whole mill where cocoa was crushed, sugar mixed, and chocolate kneaded.
In 1906, a new chocolate plant was built, the cathedral designed by Stephen Sauvestre, one of the first reinforced concrete buildings, with a bridge above the river. Its ground floor is an amazing hall with columns used for chocolate kneading.
At the end of the 19th century, this was the biggest chocolate plant in the world, with the whole city of Noisiel housing workers from the factory. In the 60s and 70s, the industrial site declined, and destruction was feared. At the end of the 80s, some of the buildings were protected as historical monuments and the choice of Nestlé to settle here has saved the site and added new interesting buildings and gardens from the architects Reichen & Robert.
The most famous building by Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel tower, has been visited by more than 200 million people.
While strolling around Paris, you often see it in the background, here while crossing the Alexandre III bridge.
The subway entrances in Paris are a hundred years old.
They were designed by Hector Guimard, in the Art Nouveau style. I love these intricate floral forms. Some have big orange glass lamps, like animal eyes.
The Cnit is a building in La Défense, the business center west of Paris.
It was built in 1958, and was a single exhibition space covered by a concrete vault resting on three points. It was then and still is a very innovative building, simple and beautiful.
A photo of the Louvre as seen through the glass pyramid, the new entrance to this very big and complex museum. I like this superimposition of old and new buildings, and the glass-supporting structure is a steel web so slender you forget it.
While refurbishing the museum, the foundations of the old castle were also found. In the museum, there are above all superb works of art.