The colorful Paris of two specialists in the field
Where is the color in the streets of Paris today? It is by this question that Michel Pastoureau, medievalist historian, specialist of the symbolism of the colors, and Larissa Noury, architect colorist and artist, approach the subject in the broad sense. One as a cultural phenomenon, the other in the visual aesthetic field.
Legitimate or unsightly, natural or artificial, Parisian buildings and streets have always been colorful. Two professionals express through two interviews their sharp points of view on the subject. When the colors of Paris make debate ...
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The mixed opinion of Michel Pastoureau, medieval historian
If Paris was a color? "Gray, stone, zinc roofs, cobblestones and all the nuances up to the greade of the cleaned facades - that's its genetic color."
For or against color in the capital? "The laws of color are universal, eternal. I believe in its use as a cultural sign. If there is transgression of the urban universe the inhabitants do not feel at home anymore. "
Rainbow like this poetic vision of the city of the street artist Julien Seth Malland, on the route of the Bievre, rue de Julienne in the XIIIth arrondissement.
What do you blame for color in the city today? "His lack of reflection in general, his maladjustment to the urban landscape. Will any facade be more attractive if it is painted, adorned with a colored material, or a fresco? Today, color does not matter, it's the end product that matters. The Docks, The City of Fashion and Design are an unsightly green frog but the goal is achieved, they do not go unnoticed. I am also thinking of the Defense. Despite the effort of the architects, neither colors nor materials appease the discomfort of this neighborhood. "
A modern architecture to quote in Paris that does not seem obvious to you? "Numerous are the ones that accumulate all the wrongs of a realization with demonstrative purpose with badly used colors."
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Green frog as on the banks of the Seine, The Docks, City of Fashion and Design. Architects Jakob + MacFarlane have wrapped the existing industrial building with a light structure
What are you looking at in the street? "The color of the clothes, that of the car bodies, the shutters, the balconies, the windows, they contribute to the perception of the city, to its behavior, to its transformation, and I notice that we live mostly in neutral tones. "
The City of Paris asks for your opinion? "I am a historian ... not an urban planner, and I have an old gentleman's sensibility, the following generation may not approve of my thinking." At the moment, in the field of urbanism and globalization, the attraction of color favors forms and practices of acculturation. "
Primary colors for this other mural fresco by Julien Seth Malland on a building at 2 rue Deslandres in the XIII.
Surrounded by black, the color vibrates on the walls with this fresco of the couple Jana & JS - an Austrian and a French - in the thirteenth.
The multicolored Paris of Larissa Noury, colorist architect
If Paris was a color? "I imagine it polychrome version, its thousand shades, the light on the facades, the harmonies, that's it for me, Paris: a flickering chromatic variation."
Is color a sign of modernity? "The Place des Vosges in the 17th century was colorful, modern in its time. Color is a universal and transcultural phenomenon. Whether it creates images or participates in the construction of urban space, it sends visual coded messages that serve as benchmarks and references. There is something direct for the eye. Today, good examples are still isolated. "
Red like the flamingos of the Menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes. Originally, these Phoenicopterus ruber live in colonies in the Caribbean and northern South America.
Are architects involved? "They understood its importance and that of materials in relation to urban life in new neighborhoods or in restructuring. "
What state of the use of colors do you train today in Paris? "In the contemporary capital, the design of colorful atmospheres is now unavoidable, it needs to be harnessed more, to live the frozen parts of neighborhoods, enrich the environment, participate in the well-being of its inhabitants, improve the presence of modest construction. Conversely a badly chosen painting on a facade will never give a satisfactory result. "
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Multicolor like The Moretti, a ventilation duct, dressed in glass fiber tubes by Raymond Moretti. They accentuate the dynamics of the towers of Defense.
Give us some examples that you quote in your book: "Color in the city! The multi-colored fireplace of Raymond Moretti on the Esplanade de la Défense: a mosaic of bright fibers alternating warm and cold tones. The Monumental Fountain of Agam, a dynamic and generous work consisting of a mosaic of enamels of eighty-six colors. The City of Fashion and Design of Jakob + MacFarlane where the use of the apple green color represents the open-mindedness of young creation, tolerance, curiosity. Other successes: the earth colors used by Jean Nouvel at the Quai Branly Museum, AS Architecture Studio and his Novancia School of Commerce, the entrance of the Cité de la Musique at the Villette de Christian de Portzamparc. "
What is the right color for you? "Avoid the cacophony. Know how to observe, analyze, understand and admit that there is no science without fantasy as there is no art without reasoning. "
English colors for the facades of rue Crémieux in the 12th century, near the Gare de Lyon.
Pink, green and yellow for the acidulous dressing shops Antoine & Lili, quai de Valmy, on the edge of the Canal Saint-Martin.