Wednesday, July 27, 2016

France II--The Confluence

Confluence means where bodies of water come together. In this case it is in Lyon, France, where the Rhone and Saone rivers merge forming a point of land.  This is an area undergoing urban development with old structures going down and new ones going up.  It a huge complex, with multiple buildings, most of them being constructed on the shore side of the Saone river.  Below is a photo of a huge shopping center that serves as the anchor for the project. There is a canal called the Place Nautique where the shopping center faces and across from it; there are various apartment building that look like each unit is a box stacked at random above each other.

Walking south from the above area by the Desserte du Port Rambaud Street, one runs into a zone called La Sucriere, where there is a conglomerate of wild colored architectural marvels in. I wonder as to the practically of their designs with such large holes, or rather cones that penetrate into the building.  Do not know their practical purpose if any, but it sure takes lots of floor space from the inside the buildings. They are all in the final stages of construction.  Do not know about the orange one but the green one is the headquarters of Euronews.  The image of the crane is to give an idea of the perspective of the area and the side of the buildings; the last image is that of the structure under the crane.

Another example of what is called deconstructive architectural design, the Musee des Confluences, is located at the end of the point where the rivers actually merge; it resembles the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (my favorite) and the War Museum in Manchester among others. To me they are examples of plagiarist design since they look very similar. It is an anthropology and science museum that opened in 2014 and it has 3 major exhibits dealing with who and what; trying to answer questions regarding scientific issues such as the origin of the Universe, evolution, etc.  Impressive and difficult to photograph, even my 12 mm lens was not wide enough.

To balance the deconstructive buildings, below are examples of the old that probably will be gone in the near future.  The old Chamber of Commerce that appeared was recycled into apartments…UGLY… it must go, and graffiti under bridge walkway leading to the museum.  Can’t pass graffiti, great street art with a short life spam… and better than those so called works of arts hanging in museums.

 I stayed in the Confluence area because at the time, the European Soccer Championships were going on and could not find a hotel closer to the center of Lyon.  The Confluence is not far from the old city and to get there one must take a tram. The Confluence complex is quiet, with great restaurants and abundant shopping stores.  On one occasion while riding the tram, ran into a group of Belgian Red Devils fans there to support their soccer team; they were drunk, loud and colorful.  While in the Confluences Shopping Center, one day I witnessed a security guard accosting a client that was playing one of the pianos on the second floor.  The guard was pointing to the sign to the American tourist that does not speak French; why have pianos if they cannot be played?

1 comment:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

OOPS!!!! Sorry!!
That third picture is very interesting in its construction. I like it because it is different. Unfortunately only some old buildings are worth keeping. France is so old and very rich in history but I will bet those old building still stand many centuries after these new ones. Not sure about those with the cones in though? They might be someone's taste in modern buildings but not mine.
Have to agree on the street art .... some of those people are really talented.
A very interesting a different blog from you Jose. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading your text. Thanks.