Surrounded by shiny new blocks of office buildings, a huge medieval-looking graffiti-covered warehouse stands proudly whilst sticking out like a sore thumb. This is Les Frigos, a city-owned building-turned-artists’-squat in the 13th arrondissement not far from the Seine. Every spring, the annual Portes Ouvertes (open doors) weekend grants walk-in visitors a chance to visit the 90-or-so ateliers within its walls. The doors opened at 2:00, and already there was an impressive turnout: from the metro station, all I had to do was to follow the camera-toting crowd to find my way there. (more…)
Paris might receive a very futuristic new restaurant soon. Designed by architect and former graffiti artist Stéphane Malka, EP7 is meant to fuse the natural with the high tech in an exciting new way. According to Malka, it is referred to as “land art,” which might be a fitting term for the type of architecture that strives to integrate the organic and the man-made. The façade combines glass and raw wooden blocks that will allow vegetation to grow and flourish on the building. It would be interesting to see how the building would morph and change as the plants grow. The design is reminiscent of Jean Nouvel’s Musée du Quai Branly, which sparked a lively polemic when it opened. Are Parisians ready for EP7? We won’t know until the winner of the competition is announced. (more…)
Have you ever walked past this building on rue la Fayette in the 10th arrondissement and wondered why the windows are always dark? The door is there, and the balconies look just like their neighbors, but they are hiding something unusual behind them. It turns out the façade is only a front with no building behind it. According to the blog Paris by Cell Phone, 145 rue la Fayette is a fake building hiding a ventilation chimney for the métro, much like the fake brownstone in Brooklyn that conceals an MTA subway ventilator.
In today’s Daily What?! we share one of our favorite “secrets” of Paris. Hidden in plain sight at the West Pillar of the Eiffel Tower is this industrial chimney, replete with medieval turret! It dates to before the completion of the famous Tour Eiffel built to assist the construction efforts. So next time you’re in Paris, surrounded by throngs of tourists trying to get onto the elevators of the Eiffel Tower, wander towards the Seine River and don’t forget to look up!
Read on for more fun finds at the Eiffel Tower, including a Post Office!
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A collective of artists, led by Nick Yulman, are building a giant music box at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris called Concert Hall, which opens on June 20th. This interactive installation is for both music nerds and architectural nerds, as there will be animated suspended accordions and automated glockenspiels, powered by visitors, that automate light and sound fixtures, with the entire built environment is inspired by the cathedrals of Paris.
Credit: créatives communs
A new exhibition exploring the urban facets of Paris by Night just opened at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal and will host events leading up to La Nuit Blanche in October. Paris la Nuit is the culmination of two years of research by philosopher and urbanist Marc Armenagaud. The exhibit exposes the many forms of nocturnal life in the City of Light, from aristocratic evenings to raves, from maintenance agents of the métro to the people who light the street lamps, from drugstores to cinemas and beyond. (more…)