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Studietur Paris 2015

Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris: a precious architecture to wear with our new ring

12 October 2021

The Institut du Monde Arabe stands fiercely in Rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. Built in 1987 by Jean Nouvel, in collaboration with Architecture Studio, this precious building was conceived as a place of exchange between the two most representative social realities of the French capital.The synthesis between Middle Eastern and Western culture comes to life in every corner. From the internal hanging courtyard, which recalls the theme of the garden of the Arab house to the spiral tower of the library, which echoes the slender minarets. But, above all, this unique synthesis emerges from the south front, inspired by the designs of the Alhambra in Granada and from the mashrabiye, the openings screened by a wooden grille, typical of Islamic architecture, characterized by a dense weave able to filter light, control the passage of air and shelter from external glances. Starting from these evocative and refined symbolic references, Nouvel reinterprets arabesques and traditional Mozarabic motifs in an exquisitely technological key. Thus, 240 devices, square and polygonal, are transformed into intelligent photographic diaphragms, able to open and close according to the light, gently regulating its flow.

Embedded in glass panels and governed by photoelectric cells, the geometric warp changes the appearance of the facade and reveals inside the complex

“The sequence of passages between the different volumes and lighting levels that, depending on the different trajectories, can be observed like a series of angles and apertures of a photographic lens” (Jean Nouvel)

Our ring dedicated to the Institut du Monde Arabe captures the essence of the sensory showcase designed by the famous French architect in Paris: on one hand, it recalls the intricate and sloping decorative motifs of ancient Arab art, while on the other, it is a tribute to the capture of the moment, to elusive contemporaneity and, of course, to the purely high-tech idea of drawing with light using a living wall, composed only of changing apertures.

Engraved in Greek are the key words to which this jewel is inextricably linked and which, together, constitute the etymology of the term photography.

φῶς, phôs, light + γραφή, graphè, drawing

Discover our new rings now!

Curated by Maria Chiara Virgili, @Dannatiarchitetti