arab world institute

This afternoon Seth and I took the subway to the fourth arrondissement for some fresh air and sightseeing. We had both visited Jean Nouvel’s Arab World Institute during our sophomore-year field trip, but neither of us had had the time to explore it properly. Four years later, we finally got to see it.

The AWI building is famous for its metallic screen facade with moving geometric motifs. The motifs are actually motor-controlled apertures which open and close every hour to adjust the amount of natural light which enters the building. The mechanism creates interior spaces with soft, filtered light, an effect often used in Islamic architecture.

On the ninth floor of the building is a fabulous restaurant which overlooks the Seine, Notre Dame, and many other Paris sites. Surprisingly, its lunch menu is not outrageously expensive. We might have to give it a go!

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