Brutal Baroque: An Ode To Midcentury Modern Churches
: French photographer Fabrice Fouillet
traveled across Europe photographing some of the most important examples of postwar churches, creating a catalogue of the spaces called Corpus Christi
. [more inside]
The story begins in 1879. Cheval, then 43 years old, had been working as a rural mail carrier in the southeast of France for 12 years
. Because his daily routine involved walking about 20 miles (32km), mostly in solitude, he did a lot of daydreaming. One day (perhaps while his mind was elsewhere), he tripped over a small limestone rock.
He picked up that stone and over the next 33 years went on to build his dream
, Le Palais Idéal,
an amazing fantasy palace
. [more inside]
Bourbonnais. No, not Bourbonnais, IL
, but Bourbonnais
, a historic province in France that flourished during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. In this area there are hundreds of churches built in the Romanesque
In 2004 Stephen Murray
, an art history professor, and his students recieved a $500,000 grant
to document, process, and archive
data from the churches into a digital database, all available online
Le Viaduc de Millau
on the A75
between Clermont-Ferrand and Béziers in France is the world's tallest and most technologically advanced bridge. At 2,460m long and 343m tall, its multi-stayed spans are suspepended from seven pylons.
It is not only an engineering marvel, but a work of art
. It took 14 years of preparation, but the bridge was built in only 3 years. This film
shows how it was built. Here
is a live view from the webcam. Previous Metafilter discussion in August 2004 before the bridge opened in January 2005 here.
The stomach of Paris.
Finally, after months of deliberation
, Paris city hall awarded the task of reworking the site
of Les Halles
to French architect David Mangin
: the winner
has a vision
of a Barcelona Ramblas-style walkway integrating Les Halles
with the surrounding cityscape. Among the losers
, Rem Koolhaas
. The Les Halles
site was first built in 1135 when King Louis VI moved the market there from the nearby Place de la Greve. The site was endowed in the 1850s with the huge metal halls for which it became famous; but in the 1970's the old market moved to the outskirts of the city. Then-mayor Jacques Chirac ordered the redevelopment
of Les Halles
-- it was supposed to re-emerge as a bustling tourist attraction
. Instead that project gave birth to an architectural WTF? of a gigantic disaster. Unpopular and difficult to maintain to boot. (warning: the words in italic link to a French-language page)
As the Wiki
Insecula: L'encyclopédie des arts et de l'architecture is a French language art website containing images and descriptions of thousands of works of art from major museums and collections in France and elsewhere, including the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Palace of Versailles, the Centre Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MOMA.
But it's not just museums and art. It's got Mayan ruins
, and of course lots of Paris streets
. I can't believe plep hasn't posted this already...
The Vertically Inclined Photographer:
Shooting Paris, Rome, the French Riviera and the Loire Valley from a low-flying plane is Patrick Durand's
photographic obsession. It's an interesting flat
alternative to Horst Hamann's
[click on "Gallery" and go to "New Verticals"
] tall vertical New York
. There's something very exciting about looking at familiar sights from an unfamiliar point of view. [Both sites very, perhaps too Flash.
Images of medieval architecture.
A great site put together by Alison Stones, Professor of History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. There are two large gazetteers, one for Britain
, and one for France
. Besides photos, there are many plans, sketches and elevation drawings, which help to give an idea of the sheer scale of gothic cathedrals such as the cathedral of Saint-Étienne at Bourges
(scroll down for the human figures at the bottom).