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City Design site

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  • T. J. Binkley
    Hi Joel, I m really enjoying wandering around the City Design site. What a tremendous resource you re creating. Under the image of Louvain, Le Vieux Marché
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 30, 2002
      Hi Joel,

      I'm really enjoying wandering around the City Design site. What a
      tremendous resource you're creating.

      Under the image of Louvain, Le Vieux Marché
      (http://www.carfree.com/design/sqmk100.html), you asked:

      >...Notice that the ground floors are all a dark color, whereas most of
      the upper stories are light colored. Does anyone know why this is?

      To better showcase storefront merchandise (or cafe patrons).

      Think of evening "window shopping", when the street is dark, and the stores
      remain lit, drawing the eyes deep inside. The building disappears---all
      eyes are on the contents within.

      A similar effect is approximated by using dark colors around storefront
      windows: Where bright/light colors would create a stronger visual
      separation between the street and the inside of the store (especially under
      bright, glare-inducing sunlight), a dark frame draws you in. The shade of
      awnings and arcades has a similar (delightful) effect.


      Paris, L'Opera http://www.carfree.com/design/sqlg140.html

      >Does anyone know why there is a broad staircase leading into the ground?
      I think this photograph was probably taken before the construction of the
      Paris Metro. It might lead to public bathrooms. If it's neither of these,
      then I'm baffled.

      I can't explain the lack of cars in the photo, but this in fact the
      Metro. I walked up those stairs and leaned on that railing for quite some
      time when I visited Paris in '95. What a magnificent facade!

      Sadly, this really isn't a square at all, but rather a huge, major
      intersection, approached by streets from seven directions, with two
      (not-so-circular) traffic circles helping direct all the cars. The other
      traffic "circle", also a Metro entrance, is behind the photographer, on the
      other side of the boulevard that roars through the middle of this "place".

      Contemporary photos:
      (scroll down)

      Old photo showing the place without the metro entrance, as construction on
      the Opera neared completion:

      Milan, Piazza Duomo http://www.carfree.com/design/sqlg230.html

      >The contemporary photographs I have seen imply that the trams have been
      relocated and that the area is entirely given over to pedestrians. If
      anyone knows for sure, please advise.

      According to these tourist photos (Google Image search), it's mostly given
      over to humans. Still some cars, alas:




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