The Needle by Calatrava, or as he says: “The Obelisk” is located at Plaza de Castilla, in the north of Madrid, next to the “Puerta de Europa” towers and the new CT Business Area. It is a present by the Caja bank to the city of Madrid at the occasion of its 300th anniversary.
A large movable sculpture formed by a central tube of steel covered by a skin of 462 bronze bars that can be moved by means of a hydraulic system. The central tube rests on an auxiliary steel structure that spans over the different tunnels and galleries located beneath the square. The foundation elements are three concrete piles with a diameter of 1m.
On both side of the obelisk you can see the twin leaning towers of Puerta de Europa (114 m, designed by Philip Johnson), behind it the Torre Caja Madrid (250 m, designed by Lord Norman Foster) and partly two other skyscrapers (Torre Sacyr Vallehermoso and Torre Espacio, both 236 m)
On 14 July 1988, President François Mitterrand announced the construction and the expansion of one of the largest and most modern libraries in the world, intended to cover all fields of knowledge, and designed to be accessible to all, using the most modern data transfer technologies, which could be consulted from a distance, and which would collaborate with other European libraries. Book and media logistics inside the whole library was planned with an automated 6.6 km Telelift system. Only with this high level of automation, the library can comply with all demands fully in time. Due to initial trade unions opposition, a wireless network was fully installed only in August 2016.
In July 1989, the services of the architectural firm of Dominique Perrault (www.perraultarchitecture.com/en/homepage) were retained. The design was recognized with the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture in 1996. The construction was carried out by Bouygues. Construction of the library ran into huge cost overruns and technical difficulties related to its high-rise design, so much so that it was referred to as the “TGB” or “Très Grande Bibliothèque” (i.e. “Very Large Library,” a sarcastic allusion to France’s successful high-speed rail system, the TGV). After the move of the major collections from the rue de Richelieu, the National Library of France was inaugurated on 15 December 1996. As of 2016, the BnF contains roughly 14 million books on its 4 parisian sites (Tolbiac, Richelieu, Arsenal, Opéra) as well as printed documents, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps and plans, scores, coins, medals, sound documents, video and multimedia documents, scenery elements…” The library retains the use of the rue de Richelieu complex for some of its collections.
We Don’t Need No Photoshop
Recently I’ve mastered some simple tricks in Photoshop. Hoever I’ve visited the Louis Vuiton Museum in the Bois du Boulogne on a day and moment the wheather was purrrfect for photographers. Took many shots and didn’t need any (or hardly any) editing. Hence the Pink Floyd reference…..
Two nice photo’s unshopped of the building designed by Frank Gehry ….
Picasso Tower Madrid
Was designed by Minoru Yamasaki who also designed the NYC Twin Towers. There are certainly similarities.