Piano... again!

Enzo Piano co-designed the Centre Pompidou, now already many years ago; it opened in 1977. He also designed the new Paris Palace of Justice, which opened officially two weeks ago. (I recently took a photo from the Centre Pompidou of the new Palace, see post here.)

In the meantime, Piano designed a new seat for the Foundation Jérôme Seydoux–Pathé, which opened in 2014.  The foundation was created a few years earlier with the objective to preserve the legacy of the film company Pathé, founded by the Pathé brothers in 1896, the second oldest film company in the world (prior to Universal, Paramount...), still very active as a major film production and distribution company, owning a number of cinema chains (Les Cinémas Gaumont-Pathé) and television networks.

One of the company’s cinemas used to be here, at 73 avenue des Gobelins. Originally the place was built as a theatre. The rather narrow facade dates from the opening of the theatre in 1869 and is an early job by Auguste Rodin – ha was 29 and not yet “launched”. The theatre later became a cinema and was so under different names (including “Rodin”) until 2003.

The cinema theatre - behind the remaining facade - with some 800 seats has disappeared and is replaced by a quite revolutionary construction, housing the foundation’s offices, part of the archives, space for temporary and permanent (especially cinema projection equipment produced by Pathé) exhibitions … and a small cinema theatre - which today partly is used to show old silent movies, accompanied by live piano music.

It’s quite difficult to illustrate what you now find behind the facade. I have “stolen” one illustration from the foundation website and have also found an aerial view, thanks to Google Earth.

Seen from the outside, you have the impression of some metallic cover - actually some 5000 "shutters" - a combination, two levels, of metallic plates and glass. The number of small holes in the metallic plates makes it impossible to see the interior from the outside, but you can see the outside from the interior.


Maria Russell said...

Yesterday noon - on my way to my sister's house - I saw the new Paris Palace of Justice. Of course, when you see its photo, you already get the impression of its great size, but nothing prepares the viewer on seeing it closely. It is gigantic to the point of overwhelming.....

So, in 2003 they pulled down that structure by Rodin? How could they do something like that? Maybe I just don't get it...

Love always your great photography and the impressive amount of research you do.

joanna said...

Ever changing - dynamic "City of Light"