Friday, May 27, 2011
medieval Paris, ILE Saint-Louis
L' Biblioteque Nationale, Paris Royale, the Facade of the Louvre, the Strike of Sainte Chapelle, Notre-Dame, and the medieval streets. This line up may sound like a straightforward chain of events however they proved to be rather tricky. However we made the best of the minor set backs and learned that the french have to announce that they will be going on strike 48 hours in advance. such was the case today at Sainte Chapelle and the towers of Notre-Dame. not a problem for us, we can always come back. shortly after dissecting Notre-Dame we embarked on a trek around the beautiful medieval streets.
These short and stout buildings once covered paris like a thick blanket, tightly packed, 3-5 stories tall, stone bases and heavy timber frame construction is shown above in a small Gelato parlor on ILE Saint - Louis. Le mademoiselle behind the counter lends some scale to how large the timbers had to be in order to support the building above. We also noticed that some of the buildings had an unusual shape to them. In the top picture the red arrows illustrate this. As far as I know we, as a class, did not come to a definite conclusion as to why some of the buildings were constructed like this, mind you this also stumped christopher who is an architectural engineer. (if we did come to a conclusion please correct me) however this way of constructing a foundation is very contradictory to how we normally would expect it. I can only conclude that it was done to give a little bit more space to some of the apartments.
In termes of scale these buildings have a different type of presence and aura about them when you are inside them. Visible Gelato shop again are the exposed timbers that have such a presence that is much different than most later renaissance buildings. whats more is the contrast in scale between the two time periods. In the upper most picture is a pair of Medieval buildings between renaissance architecture. This is such a pristine moment of architecture in the city, so rare to because the renaissance movement purged almost all of the medieval architecture that was in paris. This moment almost feels like a mistake but it is a perfect one.