Monday, August 24, 2009

Going Gaga for Guimard


When it comes to tourist destinations, there's not much to see in the 16th arrondissement, just block after block of elegant Haussmanian apartment buildings, some lovely gardens, and plenty of high-end shops. And while there are a few sightseeing gems, like the Musee Marmottan and the Musee Guimet, for the most part, it's an area of town that the guidebooks all but forget. But take the 52 bus or metro line 9 down to the lower 16th, and there in the village of Auteuil are a number of Art Nouveau buildings well worth the price of the bus ticket. Pictured above is the gate at Castel Béranger, a complex of 36 apartments designed around 1890 by Hector Guimard, better known for his work on entrances to the Métro. (The two remaining Guimard designed shelters can be found at Abbesses and Porte Dauphine.) You'll find this sinuous gate at 14 rue la Fontaine; take a peek also at 60 rue de la Fontaine and 122 avenue Mozart.

5 comments:

Starman said...

I think the 16é was designed particularly so as not to attract tourists since it is mostly upscale residences for the well-to-do, and we know how they value their privacy.

Dan said...

What a great photo! Wacky? Zany? What's the right adjective for this style? How come they were so experimental then, and now we are so dull? (Well, speaking personally, of course.)

richard said...

I lived at 133, av. Mozart for a couple of years: impasse Villa Flore was the view from my window facing the street. Guimard's architecture almost made the place look haunted.

Anonymous said...

I spent 7 weeks this summer living just down the street from this building, at my dad's. The Guimard building farther down rue de la Fontaine features prominently in the movie Cheri, with Michelle Pfeiffer & Kathy Bates. They also use a building up on the hill on avenue Mozart.
I'm missing living among these beautiful architectural gems!

Gavin said...

I'm also on the ave. Mozart and pass Guimard almost daily, but I'm not able to fall in love with it.

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