Auguste Perret’s Franciscan Chapel in Arcueil

With this year’s Heritage Days fast upon us, here is a post on one of the buildings I visited during last year’s event: the Franciscan chapel in Arcueil designed by Auguste Perret.

Hidden away and, in all appearance, a humble structure, this is a building that reveals itself on closer examination to be a marvel of simplicity and elegant logic, a true architectural lesson.

Continue reading Auguste Perret’s Franciscan Chapel in Arcueil

Paris Bookshops

Paris’s identity is deeply rooted in the fact that it is a literary city. Since the days of Villon and Du Beslay, the art of the word has had a special place in this city.

The craft of writing benefits from a special aura here, a spirit that has fostered the development of generations of French talent and attracted wave after wave of foreigners.

This in turn has led the city to be particularly frequently and fondly treated in the world of letters, which has helped to forge the extraordinarily unique and powerful collective unconscious of what Paris represents, to further the myth of this Parnassus on the Seine.

Continue reading Paris Bookshops

The Cities We Leave to Future Generations

After a period of spurning our cities, we are again becoming an urban nation.

For years, investments in highways, malls, and residential developments were focused on the suburbs. The infrastructure of America’s great historical cities, so often mired in fiscal difficulty, was left to decay.

Today we are seeing a resurgence of the urban spirit. We have woken again to the social benefits of city life. We appreciate the exchange and innovation, the cultural vibrancy, and the economic and environmental benefits of compact living. Large-scale development projects are underway in the city centers and city governments are again spending on urban infrastructure.

Continue reading The Cities We Leave to Future Generations

The Unveiling of the New Place de la République

I described in a previous post how the place de la République has been a 150-year urban design headache. So when I visited the space on the day of its opening, after nearly two years of construction, what I wanted to know was if the urban design conundrum had finally been solved.

Continue reading The Unveiling of the New Place de la République

Paris Reborn Map

To accompany the reading of Paris Reborn, this annotated map shows the location of the streets, squares, parks and buildings created during the Second Empire transformation of Paris (1848-1870). Click on any item for more information or zoom for a better view. If you click through to the Google Maps page you can also scroll down the left to see the list of places.


View Paris Reborn in a larger map

Continue reading Paris Reborn Map

Author site for Stephane Kirkland