Monday, July 18, 2011

Beautiful and Unique

Samuel Palmer (1805-81), was a young English painter befriended by the visionary English poet and artist William Blake. Largely as a result of their meeting, Palmer went on to paint some of the most inspiring, unexpected and beautiful of all English romantic landscape paintings.

Reigate's handsome Priory Park Cafe (above) is a quite different vision that has emanated in this ancient setting. Here is a brand-new circular pavilion café designed by Dominique Perrault, architect of none less than the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (1989-96), the enormous and controversial Paris library better known at home as the TGB, or Tres Grande Bibliotheque. This is the one with the huge L-shaped glass towers, shaped like open books, in which are stacked the millions of volumes available to readers tucked away in the dark depths of this Mitterand grand projet.

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