Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Concrete Paris: A new Invisible Paris walking tour

Now available on Apple and Android smart devices, a 20th century architectural tour of the city’s 16th arrondissement.

This new walk, created in association with Pocket Guide
, takes you across the the city's westernmost arrondissement, but is also partly a walk through two villages that stood just outside of Paris until the middle of the 19th century; Auteuil and Passy.

This urban geography is important because it was only within these rapidly expanding – but previously almost rural - districts that a new generation of architects had the necessary space and freedom to literally make concrete their creations.

Traditionally seen as one of the most bourgeois and quietest parts of Paris, the 16th arrondissement is nevertheless home to a fascinating range of architectural styles. On this walk you’ll see the tail-end of the Art Nouveau movement, Art Deco inspiration and the widest selection of modernist constructions in the city. Along the route you will discover creations by Le Corbusier, Mallet Stevens, Auguste Perret and Pierre Patout amongst others, but the surrounding environments in which these creations were built is also brought into focus. 

The history of this period also enables an understanding of the constructions and the development of the city. When relevant, descriptions also offer a look back in time or outwards to other aspects that will help you better situate the various designs and movements in their contexts. 

Almost all of the constructions in this walk were built between the two major conflicts in the twentieth century, although a couple of important early buildings have been included as well as two later structures that show how the movement progressed into modern times.

Unlike previous walks that I have created, this tour is not a free download. It takes advantage of the Pocket Guide technology which offers a smooth GPS-guided tour, with both vocal and text descriptions of each point of interest. You are aurally guided to each location as you walk, with the descriptions immediately beginning as you approach the GPS marker. This means that you no longer have to worry about being on the right track or the right page!

Please note however that it is not my voice that you will hear!

The pricing for the walk is controlled by Pocket Guide, but should be approximately €5/$5/£5. However, if this is too expensive, or if you do not possess a smart device, I can - on request - send a free itinery of the tour including minimal decriptions.

How to download and launch the walking tour
1. Download the free Pocket Guide app to a smart device;
  • For Android devices, follow this link.
  • For Apple devices, type Pocket Guide in the iTunes search field.
2. After downloading, launch the application.
3. Type Paris into the search field then click on the picture of the city.
4. Download the Concrete Paris tour
5. When completed, click on the Start button and the chosen tour launches automatically.

About Pocket Guide
The PocketGuide application gives you access to walking tours in dozens of cities across the globe, all produced by local experts. It is the first application to work automatically, guiding you through the city by voice, just like a real tour guide. No more fiddling with small text on your screen!

Throughout your tour you can also record your experiences (photos, videos, personal commentary...etc) then create a 3D video.

Once you have downloaded the tour, the application can work in offline mode, meaning that you don't have to pay roaming charges.

More information:

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