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Tag - Building Reflections

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Sunday 12 August 2012

Glass Waves at the Opéra de Paris


Glass Waves


Ondes de verre

Architect Odile Decq, head of ODBC, has created a restaurant inside the Opéra Garnier in Paris - with the constraint of not touching pillars or ceilings, of remaining completely reversible, should the restaurant be closed at the end of its lease. (See here for the site of the restaurant "l'Opéra", and here for the Website of ODBC) Ondulationg glass walls weave around the pillars and provide very special reflecting surfaces.
The white mezzanine makes the reflections a bit awkward to catch; nevertheless, the results are unique and quite surprising: you seem to be seeing the Flatiron building transposed from New York to Paris. Also, the reflection drives a wedge though the vaulted ceiling, blending old and new, inside and outside - a degree of freedom reserved for the photographer whose substance of work is ephemeral.

Flatiron à Paris "Flatiron in Paris"

Flatiron à l'Opéra "Flatiron à l'Opéra Restaurant"

Paris Opéra "Double Feature"


Thursday 28 June 2012

Glasgow Riverside Museum by Zaha Hadid

Glasgow Riverside Museum, Zaha Hadid

Roofs and Waves

Dächer und Wellen

Des toits et des vagues

On a recent trip to Glasgow, I went - of course - to see Zaha Hadid's Riverside Museum. As so often in Scotland, the sun played hide and seek with erveryone, making it difficult to catch the reflections in the dark glass panels of the riverside front of the museum.
The building being very close to the river, my 35mm lens proved not wide-angeled enough for the photos I would have liked to take, but here are at leat some impressions of the building and its sourroundings.
I assume the roof construction was inspired by the old storage or factory buildings with their zig-zag roof structures, and by the waves of the river and the nearby sea. Maybe the cityscape served as inspiration, too. Contracting these elements in what resembles a swift stroke of the pen, and actually constructing a roof according to this pen stroke is quite daring - and possibly a stroke of genious. Reading the text on Hadid's Website, my intuition on her inspiration seems to be right.
In the following images, you can see the old roof structures, reflected in a window on the side of the building that resembles an image hung on a museum wall. The second one gives an idea of bold line of the museum's roof .
(Click on the images to enlarge)

Glasgow Riverside Museum, Zaha Hadid
Glasgow Riverside Museum, Zaha Hadid

Having lived in Scotland for two years, I don't even dare to imagine the wind pressure and the challenges by the tons of rain being blown against the huge glass façade, but apparently it resists the elements. You get an idea of the size from the previous and the next picture:

Glasgow Riverside Museum, Zaha Hadid
The sailing boat moored in front of the building is part of the museum.
Walking around the front to the right, there is another window that acts like an exhibit hung on the outside of the building.

Glasgow Riverside Museum, Zaha Hadid

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Arcs - Tour Exaltis

Tour Total reflétée dans la tour Exaltis


Arcs of Light

Arcs de lumière

Tour Exaltis is a relatively late addition to La Défense (2006), designed by architects Bruno Willerval of Bridot-Willerval and Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Architectonica, and built by Bouygues. It houses the headquarters of Mazars.

Arcs of light extended to the pavementThe arcs of light are lighting strips in the interior of the big entrance hall. The architects have extended them onto the pavement outside the building, as you can see in this image (click to enlarge).

I have taken up that idea and “extended” the arcs of light into the surroundings, structuring the mirror images of la Défense, and blurring the distinction “inside – outside”.

The first image is closely cropped to the pedestrian level of La Défense, with Tour Total and Tour Areva framing the image left and right. The second shows the lower street level - with pedestrians, and the photographer in the lower left corner. (Contrary to Erich Kästner's proverbial saying that the photographer is never in the picture: "Merk's dir, du Schaf, weil's immer gilt: der Photograph ist nie auf'm Bild.")

La Défense reflétée dans la tour Exaltis
La Défense reflétée dans la tour Exaltis

Grande Arche et Société Générale reflétées dans la tour Exaltis Here we have two emblematic buildings of La Défense reflected in cascades in the concave structure of Tour Exaltis: La Grande Arche and one of the towers of Société Générale.

Breaking through (Tour EDF dans la tour Exaltis) "Breaking through"
The reflected image of Pei's EDF tower seems to be breaking through the façade of the Exaltis tower from the inside.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Berlin Revisited

Lila Dämmerung 2 (Potsdamer Platz)

Berliner Reflektionen

Reflets de Berlin

Berlin Reflections

Back to Berlin for a 4 day conference, with just the Nikon body and one lens (only one hand luggage! and the computer bag is the obligatory one on this trip), I try to redo some of the images taken 4 years ago with a little compact camera.
After the switch from summer time the previous night, I calculate that 4 pm would be a good time to be on location. Alas, I do not take into account Berlin's north-eastern geography, and light is fading from 3:30 pm onwards!
That results in a few nice (I hope) twilight images, but I have to return another time to get the images I am after. Construction work prevents me to get to the right spot, but I am rather pleased with some of the reflections.

Lila Dämmerung 1 (Potsdamer Platz) "Lila Dämmerung", Potsdamer Platz

Fuzzy Geometry (Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus) "Fuzzy Geometry", Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus

On the way back to the government district, I pass by Neue Nationalgalerie

Neue Nationalgalerie

and "Legoland" at Potsdamer Platz

The afternoon light and the reflection make the geometry of Paul Löbe Haus and Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus soft but no longer fuzzy:

Soft Geometry "Soft Geometry"

Wege der Demokratie "Wege der Demokratie": Stairs, balconies and a bridge linking members of parliament and their staff to each other.

And then, there is Gehry! I did not think one could simply walk past the guard at the entrance of DZ Bank at Pariser Platz, but the guard even holds the door open for you. I had heard about the explosion of "Gehry-forms" behind the stern facade imposed by the city rules around Pariser Platz. But I did not expect this. Magnificent! The meeting room inside the "whale" inside the glass-roofed inner court (“under water”?).

Wal im Bauch

Friday 3 June 2011

Montparnasse - Catalogne

Place des 5 Martyrs du Lycée Buffon

Mont Parnasse - Quartier des muses ?

Mont Parnasse - das Musenviertel?

Mont Parnasse - The Muses Neighbourhood?

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Tuesday 24 May 2011

New York! (4) Reflections

Building Styles

Here we are back to the theme I meant to exploit mostly while in New York. But of course, in outside photography you are depending on so many factors. In the particular case of reflections, not only on the weather and the daylight, but also on cleaned windows, traffic, people, etc. So in the end, I did not catch too many good reflections.

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Monday 23 May 2011

New York! (3) Museums

Solomon / Wright Impossible to visit all the museums and galleries of New York! Especially if you have already blisters on your feet.
But the architecture of the Guggenheim is of course a must.

The current exhibition bears the title "The great upheaval", referring to the period of 1910 - 1918. Of course, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright must have come as a great upheaval when the museum was built in the 1940's and 50's. Today, the building looks much less dated than many buildings from the 1960's and 10's!

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Sunday 22 May 2011

New York! (2)

Sun Set




The onset of night in New York makes many people think of Times Square. One might argue that the jostling crowds are part of the place. But I have chosen another characteristic: Skyscrapers and billboards. Even this old-fashioned bill board (rather than the omnipresent giant electronic screens) still captures the spirit of the place quite nicely, I think.

Click on the images to enlarge

Times Square

After taking this picture we turned on our heels and went straight up to the roof-top restaurant of the Marriott Hotel to have dinner in the revolving restaurant - like good tourists. Not a place where you expect to take great pictures - unless you make the blending of inside and outside lights a theme of your photographs. Like in my "interior - exterior" series. The results may not be "great", but they are quite surprising.

Sunset - Chrysler Building Chrysler Building in sunset and, below, in real "twi-light" with the lights of the restaurant being reflected in the windows.

Inside - Outside (Times Square and Chrysler Building)

Inside - Outside (Times Square) "Above Times Square"
Some of the giant advertising screens are reflected in the lower part of the building, in the center of the image.

Inside - Outside (Marriott Hotel Times Square) The lights of the restaurant being reflected in the windows

Saturday 21 May 2011

New York! (1)

New York Street View

Just a view from a hotel room window, and yet, where else could this street be but in New York? .
Loud, bustling, noisy, outsized - and fascinating.
Tall buildings, small trees, lots of yellow cabs, and harsh light and shadow

Of course I could not possibly show all the photographs here that I brought back home. And even a severe selection will not fit into one reasonable blog post. So let's start with a few straight touristy photographs before we get to twilight and reflections.

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