Week 14: Under the canopée

For this weeks’ photographs I went down the centre of town to take a few pictures of the new roof over Les Halles. You may know that Les Halles has had somewhat of a troubled history in the last few decades. The covered market, which had lasted for centuries, together with the 19th century arcades, were removed in the 1970s and replaced by a terrible shopping mall which everyone hated. Plans were drawn up to replace it with something better. In the end, the least controversial design won, and the now in Les Halles we have … a roof.


La Canopeé

The funny thing about this roof, however, is that it is not waterproof. And, this is back and white, so let me tell you: the roof … is yellow.

This is what it looks like from the side:


A side view.


From inside there are some nice views on St. Eustache, which has seen a lot of changes in this part of town, that’s for sure:


St. Eustache from under the Canopée


The nice thing is that now the east-west axis is open. There is a much greater feeling of space than there was in the past. But the whole project is a bit too consensual, too lacking in ambition.  It is better than what came before, and  maybe we will learn to like it, but certainly lacks all the cultural resonances of places like the Pyramid or Beaubourg. It is still a shopping centre, albeit one with a very nice (and leaky) roof.

Technical details: Film is Tri-X 120/135 @400 ISO. Developer: Rodinal 1+50 @20c 13mins. Leica M6 + 50mm Summicron f/2.


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