The Glass State , the technology of the Spectacle – Annette Fierro


extracts from The glass state

pg 2- In 1998 The international public was presented with the completed Bibliotheque National de France, culmination of the Grands Projet of Francois Mitterand.

pg 3 – Most of the Grands Projets were built, to some degree, of glass. It is the contention of this study that the transparency of the projects presumed to express, yet simultaneously challenged, the implicit continuity between an expression of state and an expression of the public, an agenda embedded in Miterrand’s newly ascended Leftist government.

pg 5 – The most debated of Mitterand’s projects – I.M. Pei’s Grande Pyramide du Louvre and Dominque Perrault’s Bibliotheque National de France – went beyond extolling the use of glass and steel; they were statements about the nature of transparency itself.

IMPei's Pyramid

IMPei’s Pyramid

Mitterand National Library

Mitterand National Library

pg 5 -Although Politically benign, examples in the projetcts that also use glass – green house structure (les serres) at the cite des sciences et de l’industrie in the Parc de la Villete and the Parc Andre Citroen designed by Adrien Fainsilber and Patrick Berger, respectively, in collaboration with engineers Rice Francis Ritichie; Jean Nouvel’s Institute du Monde Arabe of 1987; and Pei’s second, less controversial Petite Pyramide at the Louvre Carrousel of 1993

pg 8 – Particulary Pei’s pyramid, the use of glass and advanced technology pervades much architectural production in the present day, especially in buildings of British High Tech (Richard Rogers, Grimshaw , Foster et al)



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