Montparnasse - Catalogne
Mont Parnasse - Quartier des muses ?
Mont Parnasse - das Musenviertel?
Mont Parnasse - The Muses Neighbourhood?
At the back of the enormous Gare Montparnasse complex one finds an urban development that hardly anyone will link to the original artists quarter that gave the name "Montparnasse" to the area (In Greece, the place of residence of the 9 Muses). The new development was meant to become the new "rive gauche" business center in the 1960s. Since then, it has been extended by a number of architects with big city ambitions, amongst them Ricardo Bofill with his Place de Catalogne. (Google Map) I don't like Bofill's mock-classic style, but on a sunny evening in late spring, his Place de Séoul, adjacent to Place de Catalogne, seems like a better idea of "dense packing" than the enormous buildings "immeuble Mouchotte" and "immeuble Pasteur" enclosing the "Parc Atlantique" behind the Montparnasse train station.
These images belong to the series "Reflets - Réflexions" that I have been working on for a number of years.
Click on the images to enlarge
We approach the area by rue du Texel, where we get a first glimpse of one of
the train station's buildings:
The building to the left in the image above, at the end of rue du Texel,
reflects the old-style houses in its windows:
Going closer to the station building, it "deconstructs" the very strict façade of the Hôtel Méridien:
After Andreas Gurski's treatment of the Mouchotte-wing of the Montparnasse complex (see here for example), it is difficult for a photographer to approach the subject. To avoid any undue comparison, I have taken a view of the building from the Jardin Atlantique and captured its reflection in the neighbouring office building.
And finally, we go to the peace and quiet of Bofill's Place de Séoul: