The City- Urban architecture and material culture: Urban Architecture in the city of Paris

 Catriona Olivia Moore: 111539677

The city of Paris has long been known for its beautiful Gothic style architecture, as is present below in the image of the Louvre Paris. The gothic style is very recognised, but there are many urban , modernised forms of architecture also that are invading the Parisienne Streets. There is a clear contrast here between the Gothic style of the Palace and the modern glass pyramid, which presents the modern look of straight cut lines, and a high percentage of glass, giving that ‘clean’ look.

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An image of The Louvre Museum and Pyramid, taken in the city of Paris earlier this year by myself.

This image of several signs also shows the clear contrast between modernisation in the city and the classic architecture. The Centre Pompidou is one of the most innovative and most recognisable buildings in Paris, for its modern look and different approach. These signs are at the end of the building, which you can see from the white and blue tubes. These signs are contrasted with this small ,old street sign which writes ‘Rue Rambuteau’.


Several modern signs including illumination, contrasted against an old-style Parisienne street sign . Taken earlier this year on Rue Rambuteau in Paris by myself.

“The modern city is not just that which is here

and now but also something that provides a sharp contrast
with what has gone before.”

(Thrift and Kitchin, 2009)

“…the urban is understood, its physicality – in the form of buildings, streets and pipes..” 

(Bennett and Joyce, 2010)


A view of the Eiffel Tower from the Tour Montparnasse earlier this year, showing the high-rise buildings and skyscrapers on the outskirts of Paris.

Here is another typical contrast between classic and modern. Here you can see the Eiffel Tower, an invention before its time, but you can also see many buildings of typical Parisienne style. Behind the Eiffel Tower are many high-rise buildings and skyscrapers which are located on the outskirts of the city.

” during the nineteenth century, many
important cities throughout Europe contained buildings
around which imaginations ‘beyond’ the city could be
orientated: ultimately, a city could be placed at the center
of its empire via a selective narrative based upon its own
built form.” 

(Thrift and Kitchin, 2009)


Bennett, T. and Joyce, P. (2010). Material powers. London: Routledge.

Thrift, N. and Kitchin, R. (2009). International encyclopedia of human geography. Amterdam: Elsevier.

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