Under the scaffolding of The Palace of Justice – Brussels

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The Palace of Justice (French: Palais de Justice, Dutch: Justitiepaleis) or Law Courts of Brussels is the most important court building in Belgium and the largest courthouse in the world.

It was built between 1866 and 1883 in the eclectic style by the celebrated architect Joseph Poelaert. The total cost of the construction, land and furnishings was somewhere in the region of 45 million Belgian francs. It is reputed to be the largest building constructed in the 19th century. It is a notable landmark of Brussels.

In 1860, during the reign of Leopold I, a Royal decree announced the building of the Palace of Justice and an international architecture contest was organised for its design. The designs entered in the contest were found to be unacceptable and were thus rejected. The then minister of justice Tesch appointed Joseph Poelaert to design the building in 1861. The first stone was laid on October 31, 1866, and the building was inaugurated on October 15, 1883, four years after Poelaert’s death in 1879.

For the building of the Palace of Justice, a section of the Marollen neighbourhood was demolished, while most of the park belonging to the House of Merode was also expropriated. The 75 landlord owners of the houses, many of whom lived in their homes, received large indemnities, while the other inhabitants, about a hundred, were also forced to move by the Belgian government, though they were compensated with houses in the garden city “Tillens-Roosendael” in the municipality of Uccle, in the Quartier du Chat.

Poelaert himself lived in the Marollen neighbourhood in a house only a few hundred metres from the building, a house adjoining his vast offices and workshops. It is thus unlikely he saw himself as ruining the neighbourhood.

As a result of the forced relocation of so many people, the word architect became one of the most serious insults in Brussels.

The Palace’s location is on the Galgenberg hill, where in the Middle Ages convicted criminals were hanged.

The building includes huge interior statues of Demosthenes and Lycurgus, by sculptor Pierre Armand Cattier, and figures of Roman jurists Cicero and Ulpian, by Antoine-Felix Bourr. Although the construction took place during the reign of Leopold II, he showed little interest in the building, and it’s not considered part of his extensive architectural program in Brussels or his legacy as the “Builder-King”.

The Brussels Palace of Justice is bigger than St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The building is currently 160 by 150 meters, and has a total built ground surface of 26,000 m2. The 104 meter high dome weighs 24,000 tons. The building has 8 courtyards with a surface of 6000 m2, 27 large court rooms and 245 smaller court rooms and other rooms. (Description form Wikipedia)

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One World Trade Center

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

One World Trade Center (also known as 1 World Trade Center, One WTC and 1 WTC; the current building was dubbed the “Freedom Tower” during initial basework) refers to the main building of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, and the fourth-tallest in the world. The 104-story supertall structure shares a numeric name with the northern Twin Tower of the original World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The new skyscraper stands on the northwest corner of the 16-acre (6.5 ha) World Trade Center site, on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center. The building is bordered by West Street to the west, Vesey Street to the north, Fulton Street to the south, and Washington Street to the east.

Construction of below-ground utility relocations, footings, and foundations for the new building began on April 27, 2006. On March 30, 2009, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed that the building would be officially known by its legal name of “One World Trade Center”, rather than its colloquial name of “Freedom Tower”. The building is 104 standard floors high, but the tower has only 94 actual stories.

One World Trade Center became the tallest structure in New York City on April 30, 2012, when it surpassed the height of the Empire State Building. The tower’s steel structure was topped out on August 30, 2012. On May 10, 2013, the final component of the skyscraper’s spire was installed, making the building, including its spire, reach a total height of 1,776 feet (541 m). Its height in feet is a deliberate reference to the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. The building opened on November 3, 2014. The new World Trade Center complex will initially include three other high-rise office buildings, which will be built along Greenwich Street, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located just south of One World Trade Center, where the original Twin Towers stood. The construction of the new building is part of an effort to memorialize and rebuild following the destruction of the original World Trade Center complex.

The top floor of One World Trade Center is 1,368 feet (417 m) above ground level, along with a 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m) parapet; this is identical to the roof height of the original One World Trade Center. The tower’s antenna/spire brings it to a pinnacle height of 1,776 feet (541 m), a figure intended to symbolize the year 1776, when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. If the antenna is included in the building’s height, as stated by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), One World Trade Center surpasses the height of Taipei 101 (1,671-foot (509 m)), is the world’s tallest all-office building, and the fourth-tallest skyscraper in the world, behind the Burj Khalifa, Abraj Al Bait, and Shanghai Tower.

One World Trade Center is the second-tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere, as the CN Tower in Toronto exceeds 1 WTC’s pinnacle height by approximately 12 m (39.4 ft). The Chicago Spire, with a planned height of 2,000 feet (610 m), was expected to exceed the height of One World Trade Center, but its construction was canceled due to financial difficulties in 2009. (Description from Wikipedia)

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The Louvre Palace and the Pyramid at night

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The Musee du Louvre (in English, the Louvre Museum or simply The Louvre) is one of the world’s largest museums, and a historic monument. It is in Paris, France. 
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces. 
The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Today, nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet). With more than 8 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum. 
In 1983, French President Francois Mitterrand proposed, as one of his Grands Projets, the Grand Louvre plan to renovate the building and relocate the Finance Ministry, allowing displays throughout the building. Architect I. M. Pei was awarded the project and proposed a glass pyramid to stand over a new entrance in the main court, the Cour Napoleon. The pyramid and its underground lobby were inaugurated on 15 October 1988; the pyramid was completed in 1989. The second phase of the Grand Louvre plan, La Pyramide Inversee (The Inverted Pyramid), was completed in 1993. 

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Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain.
One of the most admired works of contemporary architecture, the building has been hailed as a “signal moment in the architectural culture”.
The curves on the building were to appear random. The architect said that “the randomness of the curves are designed to catch the light”. When it was opened to the public in 1997, it was immediately hailed as one of the world’s most spectacular buildings in the style of Deconstructivism, although Gehry does not associate himself with that architectural movement.

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Gardens at the Cordova’s Palace, Granada

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Gardens at the Cordova’s Palace, Granada, Andalucia, Spain.

Climbing up from Granada via the “Paseo de los Tristes” and then up the “Cuesta de Chapiz”, stands on the right one of the buildings which, as fate would have it, has been moved to this distant corner of the city. This is the Palacio de los Córdova which was once situated in the city centre and now serves as an archive.

At first, the building was in the Descalza’s square and it was moved stone by stone to the Chapiz slope in the 16th century. The main building’s frontal is Renaissance where we can see the family’s coat of arms. Inside, the roofs are incredible, with a wood coffered ceiling and there is a beautiful Gothic atrium.

The palace is surrounded by a large garden with tall cypresses. On the floor of the main avenue we can see the typical Granada paving. Nowadays the building is used as the Municipal Archive of Granada.

A gate gives access a patio or courtyard with typical Granada cobbles. It has a gallery in its North sector and a fountain in the middle. It is surrounded by cypresses. Some brick arches limit the second little square with a lower fountain and mark the the cypresses path which drives us to the main gate. On the right there is a typical Granada orchard and on the lefte two paralel paths: the “romantic path” and the “laurel vault”.

The Palace of Los Córdova was built at Placeta de las Descalzas around 1530 and was finished by 1592. Its owner was Luis Fernández de Córdova, Great Lieutenant of Granada and Governor of the town of Villanueva de la Fuente. It is unknown when the Córdova family sold this building. Francisco de Paula Valladar writes in 1911 that “after being factories, companies, wood warehouses, etc., it is today a property of a company or community which hires it for city warehousing purposes…”. In 1919, after being bought by Ricardo Martín Flores, it was demolished in order to build the Gran Capitán Theatre; however the important historic and artistic features were moved to the “Villa María” estate on the road to Pulianas.

In the 60s, these treasures were going to be transferred to Córdoba. However, Mayor Manuel Sola convinced the Duke of Montellano, married to Hilda Fernández de Córdova, to rebuild the palace giving him 100.000 pesetas in advance. Following the plans of Architect Álvarez de Toledo from Málaga they start the reconstruction of the palace on a state located at the beginning of Cuesta del Chapiz. The construction works began in 1965. In 1983 the Granada City Council bought the Palacio de los Córdova in order to instal there the City Historical Archive, opened to public in August 1984.

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