Photo of the Week

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Bicycles in a Parisian courtyard. © Paris Update

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Stick up for science
> The Paris March for Science begins at 1pm at the Jardin des Plantes (Place Valhubert), April 22.

Silent films from Switzerland?
> They’re rare, but they do exist and can be seen at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Paris, April 20-May 2.

Voices from the North
> The Pølar Festival celebrates Northern European culture with films, concerts, talks and more. Various locations, Paris, April 19-29.

Photo walk
> Eight Paris galleries hold special photography shows and events for Parcours Fotofever. Various locations, Paris, through May 1.

Photo shows galore
> Le Mois de la Photo has been moved from autumn to spring, with 96 exhibitions taking place all over the greater Paris area. See Web site for locations and dates.

Art videos
> The theme of this year’s Videobox Festival is “noise and movement.” Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 27-29.

Take home a winemaker
> Winemakers from Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux come to Paris to offer tastings of their products in wine bars and private homes for the event J’Irai Déguster chez Vous. Various venues, Paris, April 20-22.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Nicolas Bedos’s Monsieur & Madame Adelman preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, April 21.

Polaroid pix
> The “Expolaroid” exhibition features Polaroid images by nine artists. La Maison des Ensembles, Paris, through April 25.

Binge-watching
> Festival Séries Mania shows TV series from around the world and holds debates, conferences and special guests like Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife,” all for free. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 23.

Travel yarns
> Travel fanatics get together at the Paris Travelers Festival to swap tales of their adventures. FIAP, Paris, April 22-23.

Street art indoors

ParisUpdate-UrbanArtFair-Felipe-Pantone-2
The gallery Art in the Game will be showing works by Felipe Pantone at the Urban Art Fair.> Some 30 galleries show street art at the Urban Art Fair. Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 20-23.

Virtual reality
> Drop in on Saturday or Sunday from 2pm to 8pm for a free virtual trip at the VR Express festival. Forum des Images, Paris, through June 30.

Dance in historic sites
> Monuments en Mouvement offers free dance performances in national monuments like the Pantheon in Paris, the Abbaye de Cluny and châteaux. Various locations, through Oct. 21.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, through May 28.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 13.

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Hot Topics - Flash News

 

Maison de Radio France

A Modern Relic Preserved

Architecture Studio's winning design for the €240 million renovation of the Maison de Radio France.

Debate over Paris’s architectural landscape rages on. Following a general outcry against Mayor Bertrand Delanoë’s choice of David Mangin’s inoffensive design (over the more radical propositions of other architects, including Rem Koolhaas) for the rebuilding of the reviled Forum des Halles in the heart of the city, the argument continues over whether the city should preserve its architectural heritage (with the risk of becoming an urban museum) or allow the construction of more high-rises and buildings with daring designs.

One relic of modern architecture that is here to stay is the Maison de Radio France, an imposing, fortress-like structure in the form of a broken circle overlooking the Seine on the western side of the city. Designed by Henry Bernard and completed in 1963, the monumental building, highly controversial in its time, has been sanctified by time as part of the city’s architectural heritage.

The 110,000-square-meter building now requires massive renovations to bring it up to current safety standards, and the brief to the architects competing for the job also called for major restructuring to open up the building to the city on the Seine side, construct an underground parking garage, turn the central tower into office space (it now houses archives), improve circulation and the organization of work space, and create a new 1,500-seat auditorium. All this without radically changing the basic form of the now iconic building, which has become the symbol of Radio France.

The work, which must be done in stages and quietly (the sound of drilling must not go out over the airways of the government-owned radio stations housed in the building) will be done between 2006 and 2012 and is expected to cost an enormous 240 million euros, 26,000 million euros more than the cost of the new Musee du Quai Branly, which is now being built on the other side of the Seine.

The winner of the architectural competition for this massive project was Architecture Studio, a French collective of eight architects whose credits include the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, the Wison Chemical headquarters in Shanghai and the Onassis Foundation building in Athens, which is currently under construction.

The plans call for the creation of two esplanades, one behind the building and the other running down to the Seine, and gardens in the rest of the open spaces. The design lets in the light: glass corridors will be added to the inner façade of the main building, sparing employees and visitors the long trek through the building's dark, seemingly endless corridors, and glassed-in bridges on the fifth floor will connect the outer ring with the round central building.

Maison de Radio France: 116, avenue du President Kennedy, 75116 Paris

© 2005 Paris Update

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