Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Le Monde in Paris

Today was a gorgeous day in Paris. Sunshine. Warm. Like a Spring day. At 16.00 h. was the appointment with Michel Phillipot, responsible for Le Monde2, the magazine published on Saturday together with the Le Monde newspaper. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski knows Phillipot and his magazine very well because earlier this year they published his project "The most beautiful people in the world". The building of Le Monde is along Boulevard Auguste Blanqui in the 7th Arrondissement. A breathtaking building with a glass facade on which text. Is it pompous ? No. Is it bombastic ? Also not. Is it therefore a demonstration of a higher form of architecture ? Yes, maybe, time must decide for the Japanese architect.
It is not that easy to enter the building though. The entrance door is hidden in a corner and for security reasons initial reception is worse than at an American airport. A small glass door electronically locked and possibly opened and a bored security guard observing critically the visitor before pushing a button unlocking the gate. Next, an x-ray machine through which hand-lugguage passes and a X-ray-gate through which the visitor stumbles.
Alarm ! Alarm! When Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski passed the gate the alarm went off but the security guard didn't think it would be reason for body checking. He had a book in front of him: he was more eager to continue to read.
The hall of the Le Monde building is rather strange. It is huge but there is nothing in it nor does it serve any purpose. Before to go to reception Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski looked meditatively at this space. Was this designed for the last party in the world ? At the end of the hall were large windows where huge mirrors were placed showing the blue sky and the clouds travelling in it. What was this about ? To get lost ? An escape hatch ? For photographers coming to show their work and changing their minds for fear of being rejected by Le Monde jumping into those mirrors escaping into the endless sky for meeting the glory of angles embracing so lovingly ?
On the side in the Le Monde hall of fame is the reception where a most beautiful woman handles anyone who has managed to get through security but this in a most charming way although she seems to be on the phone permanently with her today boyfriend.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski announced himself politely looking deep into those green receptionist-eyes and after green-eyed princess called Michel Phillipot, she sweetened him to go immediately to the third floor.
Tomorrow, as a cliffhanger, the report what happened on the third floor in the Le Monde building.

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