Its an old railway station built in 1900’s in Paris, which now has been converted into a art and sculpture museum, boasting the largest collection of impressionist masterpieces.
On my first trip to Paris, I missed visiting this museum. So I made it a point to do so on my second trip last weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed some of the impressive life-sized realist paintings. But I was far more intrigued by the building, its history and architecture and also the crowd and surrounding ambience. Here are some photos
The museum was buzzing with people patiently waiting in long queues
I could not comprehend the fact that the interiors were so beautifully designed and built, all for a railway station that saw less than 40 years of service.
The view of River Seine was dream like
The way the the museum disappears and the residential buildings begin is just beautiful
I stumbled upon this building, while browsing through the pictures of buildings with modern architecture in the Netherlands. A sudden urge to see it led me to jump onto the next train. After a series of incidents – missed metros, taking the wrong train, getting myself lost in the station, being stuck in in a bus in mad traffic, I finally reached 2 hours later – way beyond my initial estimate of 35 minutes and it was all worth the trouble as it turned out even more stunning than what I expected.
Although it seemed quite opaque from the outside with the black walled exteriors, the interiors on the contrary were just the opposite – there was a flood of natural light everywhere.
The huge atrium basking in sunlight exhumed an enormous sense of space which made everyone and everything seem small – the readers were merely specks of dust amongst hundreds, reading a book or two from a collection of millions. That amplifying effect turned the softest of rustles – my slow footsteps and the camera’s mechanical shutter, into the loudest of noises, which apparently due to damping effects of the building design, no one could hear but me.
The sharp dramatic shadows, casted by the natural light, in most corners of the library, made it quite enjoyable to shoot silhouettes from a variety of angles.
I enjoy modern architecture, as the usual main ingredient is something I adore – Minimalism. Except physical objects that serve a function of utility, all things Modern Art, the squiggly drawings and incomprehensible artefacts, inspite of the popular notion of minimalism, are simply beyond my mortal comprehension. It precisely was what put me off from visiting the Stedelijk, but since I had nothing better to do, I finally decided to go. Needless to say, I had a great time taking pictures of the building than looking at art.
This was my second visit to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and since I had already seen most of the art, I got to spend time looking at other things, while my friends did their browsing. I should admit, I found the architecture of the building more beautiful and enjoyable than the art pieces themselves. People predictably gave me confused looks, every time I aimed my camera in directions and towards places which seemingly had nothing to offer, for them to talk to their friends about.