Saturday, November 05, 2011

Des façades sauvées

It's funny, I went to the Pompidou Center, but I took no photos of the Pompidou Center. This seems to happen to me a lot. I have a bunch of photos from inside, but none of the exterior. Oh well. This is a row of buildings seen from the fifth or sixth floor of the museum.

The renovation was completed thirty years ago. But you can see how new-ish looking all the windows are in these buildings.

I remember this row of buildings from when I lived in Paris in 1981 and 1982. The neighborhood around the relatively new Pompidou Center was undergoing renovation and these buildings were actually gone. But their façades remained, propped up by temporary support structures. New buildings were constructed behind and the preserved façades were tied back into them.

If you're there, and you look closely in certain places, you can see how this worked. I believe that the reconstruction of this block was part of the larger plan for the Quartier de l'Horloge, adjacent to the Pompidou Center on the north (to the right of the buildings you see in this photo). If any of you know more of the details, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

PS: I hope I didn't give you the wrong idea yesterday. I still have a few more photos from this adventure coming up!


  1. I think it's a great idea. I've seen it done to buildings in the States as well. They're so beautiful, a new building could never compare.

  2. I think it is terrific that they kept the facade.... what a great looking block.

  3. What a lovely row of houses and a great photo.
    So many windows.....I wonder what goes on inside them.....

  4. I seem to recall there being construction there back in '81/'82, but I'm sure that I had no idea whatsoever that they were saving façades and building new construction behind! That's fabulous!

  5. Walt

    You just jumped from Rive Gauche to Rive Droite :-)

  6. I cut my own hair...yesterday.

  7. mark, I remember a row of buildings in Washington, DC, that had that treatment.

    stephen, I wish I could see what the interiors look like!

    jean, there are all manner of souvenir shops on the street level. I'd wager the upper floors are apartments, but I don't know.

    judy, Ken remembers it, too. I was worried that I was remembering a photo instead of the real thing.

    t.b., I have amazing powers!

    starman, I did that once. The result wasn't pretty.

  8. When I lived in Paris in 02 I remember walking in to find in the main entrance ground floor, the most gigantic piece of real EARTH.
    It is an amazing place.


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