I am a fiend for great architecture both modern and old. Hiro on the other hand is far more selective.
Like London, Paris has it’s share of MUST SEE buildings. So, I defy anyone to compile such a list without including The Institute du Monde Arabe by Jean Nouvel. This is a sight to behold as it is ornate in detail, it is uncompromisingly angular against the age old Seine.
The facade borrows inspiration from traditional Arabic patterns but is truly avant garde in its practicality.
Like a thousand eyes, the mechanisms are built to dilate to according to daylight conditions. The external view is wondrous but the lighting effect inside is breathtaking. It felt a bit “Bladerunner-like”.The rawness of the glass against steel with the spectacular light display around us.
Now it just so happened that the Zaha Hadid’s Chanel Mobile Art Pavillion was sat in the shadows of the Institute while we were there. I have since learned that this shall be it’s permanent home and I must say, that these two building make a stunning contrast. I am not a Hadid fan, her famously curvy or complex shaped structures fail to move me. I know this is because of my deep rooted adoration for straight clean lines. Nonetheless, the Chanel Pavilion looks fantastic in it’s new home.
The starchitect battle: Nouvel vs Hadid. I think Nouvel won this battle.