Rise of the Modern city — Paris

There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris. — Ernest Hemingway.

While many world capitals feed off the energy of modernity, Paris is loved because it represents an escape from it. So when most people visit the city, their agenda involves visiting monuments like the Louvre,Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower — most visited tourist attraction ever. Whilst the Haussmannian architecture which dominates the city is quintessentially Parisian and brings immense pleasure to look at, it’s fascinating to discover another side of the city — for lovers of contemporary art and architecture, Paris can be a surprisingly rich place. What can we find around the Louvre’s area?

Ministry of Culture and Communication
What can be better than having a nice cup of coffee and French croissant in front of one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris? I had no clue what was that for, but each time I passed by — I took a photo. Unusual metal façade on this building, completed about 8 years ago, caught my eye. On a gray day, the covering disappears into the sky. On a bright day, it glows.

2. Rue de Rivoli 59

Not far from the ministry mentioned above, there is a building right in the heart of Paris that’s full of nothing but artist’s studios where art can be free. No wonder it looks unique and completely different from any historic bulding on Rivoli. Story began 15 years ago when a group of tenacious artists occupied the old building on 59, Rivoli. Their intentions were only to demonstrate how they could make a good use of such a big empty space towards an alternative and cultural activity by giving the artists a place to create and live in. And they did!

3. Pyramid
The new entrance to the Louvre had become almost as famous as the museum itself. The controversial, neomodern glass pyramid designed by Chinese-born American architect evoked scorn from traditionalists who felt it destroyed the dignity of the Renaissance courtyard. Goethe had described architecture as frozen music, and some critics described this pyramid as fingernails on a chalkboard. Admitting you like the pyramid would make you a tasteless foreigner, and expressing dislike would be an insult to the French.

Whether you like it or not, Paris is the beating heart of Western civilisation. I love Paris for the million reasons that everybody loves the city. It’s incredibly full of contrast with intense atmosphere of uniqueness.