This was the Future, Vol.25

typed for your pleasure on 19 May 2006, at 3.16 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Tourist trap’ by NON

Here we have another installment wherein we set the controls further back than the usual Sixties subjects, and fling ourselves headlong into early Thirties Paris. Let’s GO!
*grinding TARDIS noises*
We’re here! Ahhh, Paris in the Spring! Smell those baguettes? No, I’m actually asking you if you can smell those baguettes — my sinuses are bollocked again and I can’t smell a damn thing. But look over there! What’s that fascinating steel-and-block-glass structure, in that courtyard off of rue Saint-Guillaume, you ask? Why, that would be the Maison de Verre (House of Glass), by interior designer Pierre Chareau and architect Bernard Bijvoët, naturellement.

Around 1927, a married couple with money and a good social position, Dr. and Mrs. Dalsace, were looking for a home in Paris. It had to be in the neighbourhood of the Saint Germain quarter which, as mentioned, was where Parisian high society of the time congregated. When they found the building at 31 rue Saint Guillaume, a big house on several stories between party walls in the central courtyard of the block, it was in such poor condition that both the future owners and the architect decided to demolish and rebuild it. However, an old lady who lived on the third floor refused to move, so they finally decided to demolish the two lower floors and keep what was above them. As well as being an unexpected setback, this meant that a technical feat was required to solve two simultaneous problems: on the one hand, constructing a new building underneath what remained without causing structural damage to the upper floors and on the other, bringing light to the interior of the new home, which suffered from a lack of natural light because of its narrowness and its position in the centre of the block.
quoted from this site

Maison de Verre (not to be confused with the equally fab, but not as glass-centric Maison de Verre in Brussels, Belgium) was also rather interesting in the fact that Dr Dalsace’s gynaecological office comprised the ground floor. How very Ballardian!

Innovations included ductwork that cleverly hid the electrical and phone wiring, sliding partitions that could be arranged for maximum use of space, a service lift and a private lift, and a series of hinged metal ventilation panels to allow breezes from outside to enter. It was a pretty unique building back then, and it’s still unique now. Vive la Maison de Verre! Liberté, égalité, fraternité! Cherchez la femme! I have no idea what the hell I’m saying!

Right, back into the TARDIS

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

This was the Future, Vol.07 on March 19th, 2005

This was the Future, Vol.44 on September 29th, 2010

7 have spoken to “This was the Future, Vol.25”

  1. SafeTinspector writes:

    Too bad there’s not a wider-angle shot of this building. I’d love to see the break between the lower levels and the upper levels.
    It does look very modern though!

  2. PBShelley writes:

    Ah, that is very… SQUARE! … and… RECTANGULAR :-O
    …aaaand that about sums up what I know about buildings. Just as well that Engineer’s training class didn’t “catch” :-/

    Anyway, I was typing to ask about that li’l thingamajob (as opposed to thingamabob, which it plainly isn’t) that is just beneath the “Shouting…” title. *points to the upper left* -See?

    Where normally there is a pithy statement, now is… what? A gobsmacked penguin? Dazed as if just struck by a rock? Little flippers twitching in shock or even indifference? I think it very well could be…

    In any case, I think it must surely be nominated as the most complex, intricately-designed smilie ever done. If that’s what it is. I think.

    PBS, Lily, & Eden

  3. Davecat writes:

    Dear Confused Trio –
    Regarding ¯\(º_O)/¯:

    1. Face your nearest mirror.
    2. Bring your arms up so that your hands are up to face-height.
    3. Turn your hands palms up.
    4. Squint one eye whilst widening the other.
    5. Flatten your mouth into a line.
    6. ???
    7. PROFIT!!

    You should now have an expression similar to the emoticon pictured above. Appropriate for occasions that require a humourously bewildered response, such as ‘What’s the deal with airline food?’ or ‘Who are these people?’ Works especially well if you are an anime character, or if your name happens to be Jerry Seinfeld.

    And if you think that’s a pretty crazy emoticon, you should check out some of the Shift_JIS art masters — they’re mental.

    Hope that helps!

    Sincerely,
    Davecat, Agonije Aunt

  4. SafeTinspector writes:

    ???
    Help me, I am not so visual as that.

  5. Davecat writes:

    SafeT
    I believe this pic somehow captures and distills the essential spirit of the emoticon.

    Enjoy.

  6. SafeTinspector writes:

    But why are we trotting out emoticons?

  7. Davecat writes:


    You… haven’t been following along too closely, have you?

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