Surreal French Public Building Evokes Magritte | Home Design Find

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Surreal French Public Building Evokes Magritte

office building saint etienne 1 architecture

A gigantic yellow foyer five stories high dwarfs the small human by the doorway of “La Cite Des Affaires” in Saint-Etienne by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, yet with its childlike and cheery color and goofy windows, the entry is not forbidding or grand.

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These simultaneously imposing and yet almost comic spaces that all frame various sky views in surrealistic ways are created as ways into a government office building complex.

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Look at how the sliver of sky from this angle perfectly frames, echoes and reverses the shape of the building seen through the canopy.

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Here, another void space as real as the volume it contains, creates a gigantic frame for the sky.

Does this remind you of the surreality of Magritte’s art – which is about – ahem – about dealing with faceless bureaucracies?

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These various entrances, shouting out their accessibility in yellow, are chunks of space boldly carved out of the cube shapes of the buildings.

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The huge complex creates a city within a city in a town almost six hundred years old.

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Look back at the old town. Now all the scattered and random-seeming windows are seen to echo the small windows of another time.

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The yellow is like a bright lining to the tedious grays of glass and concrete of any office building.

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Getting outside the complex in the Grüner district of Saint-Etienne, you see that it is actually a normal office building color and texture on the outside.

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Bold contrasting yellow denotes all the ways in.

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Apart from the visual originality, look at how large that cantilevered section is! What an engineering feat!

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One comment so far to “Surreal French Public Building Evokes Magritte”
  1. La Cite Des Affaires / Manuelle Gautrand Architecture | External Brain Says:

    […] in surrealistic ways are created as ways into a government office building complex — via Home Design Find This entry was posted in Design. Bookmark the permalink. ← Lindy Bob / LSL […]

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