Sunday, 20 September 2009
As part of The London Design Festival the Chelsea Space is exhibiting a collection of Finnish glass design from Iittala, curated by Finnish designer Harri Koskinen. The exhibition has some rare and extraordinarily beautiful pieces on loan from the design Museum in Helsinki and from Iittala's own collection.
The last image shows pieces Harri has designed for Iittala's Art Works series.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Norman Foster's Carré d'Art is a library & gallery in the centre of old Nîmes. The building was constructed as part of a project to refurbish the square in which the Maison Carrée stands, and provide a new setting for the ancient temple.
Each time I go to the Carré d'Art there's always lots of activity around the building. The exterior spaces are almost as successful as the architecture itself. People sit on the benches and watch the shadows formed by the white columns, kids play on the steps and teenagers hangout around the back of the building breakdancing and skateboarding.
There's a restaurant on the top floor with a terrace looking over the square, framing the views out over the rooftops of the old town. Since we'd been last we were dismayed to find that coloured timed lighting had been added. I'm sure Foster would be horrified!
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
The Jardin des Plantes in Montpellier was established in 1593 and is France's oldest botanical gardens. It's only 5 minutes walk from our place and I often go there to read or just to wander around. Originally it was the garden for the medical school and this is reflected in the collection of named medicinal plants, which are dispersed throughout. Despite it's formal structure, there is an unruly eccentricity about the place. Parts of it are closed off awaiting funds to restore them to their former glory, weeds grow amongst the plants and the grass is rather scruffy. I really like the unmanicured nature of the gardens and secretly hope they remain as they are.
The plants in the first photo are giant water lily seed heads. I saw them in flower a few weeks ago but by the time I returned to photo them, the flowers were over. I almost think they're more impressive like this.