Sunday, 14 June 2009

Call Me Blue

"When I put a green," the painter Matisse said, "it is not grass. When I put a blue, it is not the sky".
Painters were liberated from the constraints of colours over a century ago, but Parisian architects have remained rooted to a rational consensus. Mostly this can be attributed to strict planning rules, but perhaps also to some supposed laws of good taste. It was a surprise therefore to find such a striking blue streaked building in the city, but why was it that this structure's florid ostantatiousness didn't look out of place to me?

It was perhaps the weather. On another day, with rain drizzle in my eyes, I may have walked past this building and found it unsightly, but this bright blue morning it seemed a perfect fit in its environment. Later I discover that the building was born in the same year as me. I'm a child of the 1970s, and this building had that decade written clearly on its facade too. Had I found a birth soulmate, and do I have some need for colour that stems from my polychromic childhood?

In reality the building is somewhat banal, a corner block that we might expect to find in a hospital housing nurses. It is the rarity of such a bold use of colour in Paris that is worthy of note, but is it an attractive building? All colour is risk and confrontation, and it is always easier to stay neutral. I'm glad that such pockets of colour can be found in the city, but perhaps tellingly I'm not sure whether I would want to live in this blue shell all year round.

Here it is from Google Street View - visit the building and give me your opinion!



Agrandir le plan

8 comments:

chicamom85 said...

The photos are exceptional, I love seeing things through your eyes.

Anne

Ken Mac said...

shocking blue!

Inspector Clouseau said...

Saw your invitation in the Coffee Shop feature of Google Groups Help Group, and decided to visit. Nice work.

Blogger has published a piece entitled, "Promoting Your Blog." It is a beginning, even though it is somewhat self-serving. The info is at least in one location. Go to http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=42377 .

Peter said...

Have about the same feelings as you, a bit mixed. However, at least the architect has tried to domething more than just a "box", which was often the case those days! ... and it seems still to be in good shape!

Gina V said...

I think coloured exteriors are a welcome relief from too much homogeneity in a cityscape...
In Lorient where the post-war buildings sport daring colours, the feeling is rather festive even as the architecture is not remarkable. [My father's own designs from the 1960's-70's were always interesting in the colour choices incorporated!]
Like a garden in bloom, colours always lighten the mood and make our eyes dance!!
[My post today is a shout-out to you Adam!]

elizabeth said...

It would fit in perfectly in Miami's South Beach! We need more blue in our lives.

ArtSparker said...

I find it quite jolly, it is like a Malibu beach house plunked down in Paris.

Starman said...

I like color and I like blue, so I like it. One of the things I find most attractive about cities and towns along the Mediterranean is the colorful way in which the townspeople paint their buildings.

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