Notre Dame de Paris

September 17th, 2014 | General | No Comments »

Notre Dame de Paris © flickr.com - Bertrand/cc-by-2.0

Notre Dame de Paris © flickr.com – Bertrand/cc-by-2.0

Notre-Dame de Paris (French for “Our Lady of Paris”), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture.

As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame is the parish that contains the cathedra, or official chair, of the archbishop of Paris. The cathedral treasury is notable for its reliquary which houses some of Catholicism’s most important first-class relics including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.

In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845. A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991.
 

Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave but after the construction began, the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher and stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral’s architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.

Many small individually crafted statues were placed around the outside to serve as column supports and water spouts. Among these are the famous gargoyles, designed for water run-off, and chimeras. The statues were originally colored as was most of the exterior. The paint has worn off, but the grey stone was once covered with vivid colors. The cathedral was essentially complete by 1345. The cathedral has a narrow climb of 387 steps at the top of several spiral staircases; along the climb it is possible to view its most famous bell and its gargoyles in close quarters, as well as having a spectacular view across Paris when reaching the top. The design of St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Adelaide, Australia was inspired by Notre-Dame de Paris.

France’ “kilometer zero”, the reference point for distances, e.g. for motorways and highways leading to Paris, is located on the square in front of Notre Dame de Paris.

Read more on Notre Dame de Paris and Wikipedia Notre Dame de Paris. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.


enlarge map

Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center in Astana

September 13th, 2014 | General | No Comments »

© building.co.uk

© building.co.uk

Khan Shatyr (“Royal Marquee”) is a giant transparent tent in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. The architectural project was unveiled by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on December 9, 2006.

The 150m-high (500 ft) tent has a 200m elliptical base covering 140,000 square metres (14 ha; 35 acres). Underneath the tent, an area larger than 10 football stadiums, is an urban-scale internal park, shopping and entertainment venue with squares and cobbled streets, a boating river, shopping centre, minigolf and indoor beach resort. The fabric roof is constructed from ETFE-cushions provided by Vector Foiltec suspended on a network of cables strung from a central spire. The transparent material allows sunlight through which, in conjunction with air heating and cooling systems, is designed to maintain an internal temperature between 15–30 °C (59–86 °F) in the main space and 19–24 °C (66–75 °F) in the retail units, while outside the temperature varies between −35 and 35 °C (−31 and 95 °F) across the year.
 

Following the construction of the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation (opened in 2006), a giant glass pyramid, the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center was the second national project in Astana designed by UK architect Norman Foster (Foster and Partners), and UK engineers Buro Happold. Construction documentation architects were Linea and Gultekin. The construction of the tent-city was the responsibility of the Turkish company Sembol.

Khan Shatyr is currently on the outskirts of the new part of Astana. It is planed to expand the city Khan Shatyr, so that the tent is part of the future town center of Astana. Khan Shatyr lies on a line of sight with the Bayterek Tower, the Ak Orda Presidential Palace and the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.

Read more on Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center and Wikipedia Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center.


enlarge map

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲