15 November 2009

Paris Scratch


Ornament ∕ Public Space ∕ Transport

This is the city-bound platform of the RER station at Paris Charles de Gaulle (aka Roissy) airport.


The upper atrium of this massive concrete structure has an elegant modular roof structure, where the light somehow permeates the whole space, in a way that reminds me of the Mezquita in Córdoba in southern Spain. As you stand waiting for your train, the scratched patterns on the concrete panels on the wall opposite provide a welcome respite from the advertising-drenching that is air travel. The mode of construction ”” embedding and then removing the twisted rods used in reinforced concrete into the surface of the wall ”” is brutifully apparent. It is hard to resist trying to reorganise their sequence in your mind, but you soon realise they could never match up. Does the weary traveller enjoy looking at this jumbled railway route map, or does it awaken a certain anxiety that you may have read the RER map (below) incorrectly and be waiting for the wrong train?