Thursday, 29 May 2008

jean nouvel

While I was in Paris last week I revisited the Institut du Monde Arabe built in the mid 80s. It was built in partnership with Architecture Studio a group of seven architects founded in 1973.
Although Jean Nouvel has built other impressive buildings in Paris (notably the Foundation Cartier and more recently the Musée du Quai Branly) I think the Institut du Monde Arabe is still his best structure.
The facade is a huge wall of Islamic patterned mechanised metal irises which can be closed to prevent light coming in.
Inside on the ground floor is a very stylish café where you can get a pricey but very good mint tea and choose from an array of arabic cakes.
My selection came with what was actually a layer of uncooked meringue, sprinkled with chopped pistachio nuts!

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