Tag:

Ceiling

Sala Azionisti – Edison S.p.A.

Milan (Italy). Having the office in a historical building in the heart of Milan – although I spend here most of the time – has for sure several pros. One of them is represented by prestigious architectures that decorate and embellish what otherwise would be an anonymous working environment.

The “Shareholders’ Meeting Room” (in Italian: Sala Azionisti) at Edison S.p.A. headquarter is a perfect example to demonstrate what I’m trying to explain. Some days ago I finally had the opportunity to photograph this prestigious room, where there is one of the most beautiful ceilings I have ever seen in my life. It is a finely decorated polychrome glass dome, built in 1922 by the Italian manufacturing company “Corvaya & Bazzi” with a special decorative technique named “tubage”.

Tubage was very popular at the beginning of 1900s, but unfortunately the Second World War made most of the companies working with this technique disappear – and with them, their skills and expertise. Today some specialized companies are able to reproduce this technique, which basically consists of decorating using a syringe filled with a special paste, covering the work with a transparent enamel and tempering the surface at high temperatures.

Unfortunately, the Edison Shareholders’ Meeting Room it’s not a free access place, unless there are some public events. You can check it here, just in case!

 

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Bottom-Up View of Milan

Milan (Italy). Last Sunday the weather in Milan was simply perfect! It was a typical day of September, with fresh air and a blue sky. I had a walk around the new district called “Porta Nuova”, one of the most interesting real estate development in Milan in the last times, thanks also to the involvement of prestigious architects such as Cesar Pelli and Stefano Boeri.

Of course, I had my Leica Q with me…

I captured this photo from Piazza Gae Aulenti: it’s a nice bottom-up view of the UniCredit Tower, which is now shaping the skyline of Milan. Something a bit different from my usual photographs, maybe for this reason I liked the final result.

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At Charles de Gaulle Airport (Terminal 2F)

Paris (France). There are many ways to spend time in an airport before catching an airplane. There are those spending money at the duty free shop, those buying the last souvenirs, those relaxing in the lounge… and those, like me, who have fun taking some photos. In this case I was at the Terminal 2F of Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, which captures the passengers’ attention with its ceiling made of steel and glass. And not only of passengers, since the U2 themselves have chosen this location to stage the clip of their song “Beautiful Day”.


Parigi. Ci sono tanti modi diversi per passare il tempo in un aeroporto prima di prendere un aereo. C’è chi spende soldi al duty free, c’è chi compra gli ultimi souvenirs, c’è chi si riposa nelle lounge… e c’è chi come me si diverte a scattare qualche foto. In questo caso ero al Terminal 2F dell’aeroporto Charles de Gaulle di Parigi, che con la sua copertura in vetro e acciaio cattura molto l’attenzione dei viaggiatori. E non solo la loro, dal momento che anche gli U2 hanno scelto questo luogo per girare il video della loro canzone Beautiful Day.

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The Courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi

Florence (Italy). A fish-eye view of Palazzo Strozzi’s Courtyard. I have always considered this place as an example of “architectural perfection”: with its clean lines, harmonious proportions and soft tones, Palazzo Strozzi is a real jewel of the Renaissance period.

If you are a lucky owner of a 1,000 CHF note (more or less equivalent to 1,000 USD), before spending it just watch on one of the two sides: there’s a detail of Palazzo Strozzi (one of its mullioned paired windows, also called “bifore”).

 

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The Central Courtyard at the Palacio da Bolsa in Porto

Porto (Portugal). Yesterday I posted a photo of a nice courtyard in Milan; here today I’m posting the same subject – but this time it is from my recent trip to Porto, the second city of Portugal and one of the most beautiful one.

This sumptuous and elegant neoclassic building is the old Palacio da Bolsa (in English, the Stock Exchange Palace). It’s not used for its original scope anymore: for example, the courtyard photographed here in the past was the negotiations room, and the ceiling is decorated with the emblem of the countries with which Portugal was having commercial relationships.

However, today the Palacio da Bolsa it is still used for the meetings of the local commercial association.and for some special events. During the day, the Palacio da Bolsa opens its doors to visitors, and it is possible to walk along its corridors, as well as to visit its rooms, following a 45 minutes guided tour. I particularly appreciated the fact that during the tour I could shoot photos, and this one is one of my favorite from that visit.

The Palacio da Bolsa is located in the Infante D. Henrique Square in the historical center of Porto, and is designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

To capture this image I used a Leica Q camera: I think its 28 mm lens is very versatile and is very suitable for architecture photography (with a touch of creativity).

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The British Museum in London

London (United Kingdom). What does make the beauty of a museum? I mean: saying that a museum is a beautiful one, what can be the main reasons? Have you ever questioned yourself about it? I did it, and I still do it basically every time I visit a museum – which luckily happens quite often because I love going to a museum.

But before giving my answer I want to say something I noticed, and that appears to me quite as a nonsense: for several people (perhaps the majority) the beauty of a museum is given by the number of famous authors (painters, sculptors etc.) exhibiting there. And unavoidably, the result  is that a museum with ten Picasso is better than another one with only two. Isn’t it absurd? Oh yes, definitely it is; but it’s also true. So, the consequence is that visitors are much more concentrated on the small label with the title and the author of a painting, than on the painting itself! And they spend the whole visit at a museum curved down on the low corner of the frame, admiring the name of some famous author, without putting their eyes on what could be a masterpiece of art’s history.

For the same reason, I love when I visit a museum and I see someone standing in front of a canvas or a sculpture, writing or sketching on a notepad: it’s a totally different approach, much deeper and in intimate relationship with art…

Anyhow, coming back to my initial question: what makes the beauty of a museum? To me, one of the key elements is its architecture: the visit to a museum is a pleasure not only for what it includes, but also for the spaces where the visitors walk. For this reason I loved the Fondazione Prada in Milan, where people walk in a former industrial site, completely reinvented but with well visible the traits of some structures used in the past to produce spirits. And of course I loved the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, designed by Frank Gehry with his typical futuristic concept of structures. But one of my favorites and that I loved most is the British Museum (in the picture, the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court), with its striking ceiling designed by Sir Norman Foster (based on Foster’s concept for the roof of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany).

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The Ceiling of Nostra Donna Church in Pontremoli

Pontremoli (Italy). I must admit: have a sort of obsession for ceilings (here there are some samples from this blog) and I consider  myself a lucky person because sometimes I find great ones during my trips! Those who have seen me taking photos, can witness that I stay long time curved to find the perfect symmetry above my head: indeed photography is a great passion, and for a passion you can do everything, including painful things 🙂

Anyhow, let me stick on this photo, just to provide some information (well, I don’t have too much to say… just look at it!). This is the ceiling of Nostra Donna Church in Pontremoli: I visited it some weeks ago, and although it was not my first time there, still I noticed that it’s impossible not to remain amazed by this place! It totally captures your eyes, not only with its unusual shape, but also for its decorations on the walls and – of course – on the ceiling.

When I took this photo, the light was quite uniformly illuminating it, so the conditions were perfect for capturing this triumph of colors and scenes. If you have the opportunity to come to Pontremoli and visit the Church of Nostra Donna, do not forget to watch above your head: you will be truly amazed and you will understand my “obsession”! You can trust me…

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