Tuesday 20 May 2014

A Cabin in a Concrete Cruise liner...for €2 million

Near the Balard Metro station, the French Ministry of Defence is putting the finishing touches to its new HQ, dubbed the French Pentagon. The construction site punctuates the skyline, offering glimpses of shiny new buildings behind high fences, a panorama that we are forbidden to photograph.

Sitting opposite on the other side of the Boulevard Victor, separated by the neat green carpet of the tramway, is another building that is almost military in form. Around 50 metres long - but only 10 metres wide at its broadest point (barely more than 2 metres at its narrowest) - this nautical looking structure though has no connection to its combative neighbour. This is perhaps architect Pierre Patout's finest moment, and a piece of design history that you could today own - if you have €2 million to spare.

Friday 2 May 2014

A ‘Frantic’ search for Polanski's Paris

Filmed in 1987 and released in 1988, Roman Polanski’s ‘Frantic’ is not the best film ever to be set in Paris. It is though one that continues to intrigue, perhaps because it plays the city against type, relentlessly capturing a paranoid rather than a picturesque Paris. It is this visual aspect that is the focus here, following a request from a reader to hunt down some of the filming locations. More than 25 years after the film was made, could I find places that are perhaps no longer there - or maybe never even existed in the first place?
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