Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Surrealistic "Melting Building" in Paris

If you're already in Paris or thereabouts, you probably already know about the "melting building" at 39 Avenue George V. I first caught a glimpse of its surrealistic wonders this afternoon in a brief Metropolitan Home article.

Athem, which specializes in temporary architecture, was asked to build a false front at the site to conceal building renovation. Sculptor Pierre Delavie responded to the challenge by creating a giant work of art, constructing, according to Metropolitan Home, an 8,200 square-foot canvas from polystyrene, resin, and metal. Delavie's melting building is much more interesting and attractive than the slapdash structures that are often built to block construction from the public.

Several websites have videos and pictures of 39 Avenue George V, as well as more information about it. Some, alas, are in French, but that doesn't much matter with videos and pictures. Take this video. It provides an excellent, though brief, look at the building front, then gives a lingering look at some explanatory French text:

Some of that is universal; some of it is Greek to me. Although... maybe it's some of my three years of French coming back to me, but I think I can decipher a bit of that text. Like "perspectives" could mean "perspectives" and l'intention artistique" could have something to do with "the artistic intention".

There are also some very good Flickr photos, and more good pictures at this French-language site named Parisian boys (Some of their links are really easy to understand! "Brad Pitt", "David Beckham", "Jake Gyllenhaal"... Hey, they aren't from Paris. I'm confused again.)

There's another another video and photo at the Parisian blog DeStructUred Blog. (I use her wacky capitalization, but this does not mean I endorse it.)

For a look at another of Athem's projects, called the Vuitton suitcase, word has it we can also turn to Flickr (once they're back online. They're currently offline, and will be for a while still, according to their blog. I will delete the link if it turns out to be photos of someone's hilarious lolcat collection or something else entirely unrelated to Athem's cool temporary architecture.)

Props to Athem for bringing art to public areas, and ones that might otherwise look fairly drab, at that (although perhaps not, if they're all in such ritzy neighborhoods.) It's possible that making the construction site look... attractive... is a legally-imposed requirement (worded less vaguely). Still, Delavie's odd, lovely "building" goes above and beyond what one might expect if there was such a requirement. It's a shame it's destined to melt away.


Blogger Pete P. said...

I've seen many construction sites where they have a false front that looks like the building itself when it's not-under-construction but making it look like it's melting is way better, very cool!

10:33 AM  
Blogger trill42 said...

I love it; I think it's so creative! I also really like this row of books false front. And this building has a pretty cool front. And just because I came across it while looking for temporary building fronts and because it looks so nifty, there's this building in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

4:49 PM  

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