Building Facades



I’m taking “façade” in its most literal sense:  the face of a building.

These are some facades that intrigue me:


Pontalba building, New Orleans Louisiana USA

The front of the Musee Rene Magritte is covered with a hoarding as it is prepared for opening in a neo-classical building known as the Altenloh Hotel, part of the Museum of Modern Art complex on the Place Royale in Brussels. Rene Magritte Museum, Brussels, Belgium Commissioned



Tudor façade, Chester  UK


façade of a McDonald’s,  Georgia


Tour Vegetal,  Nantes, France

And finally, here is the medieval façade of the west front of Salisbury Cathedral, UK:


and a wonderful poem it inspired,  by Thomas Hardy:

A Cathedral Façade at Midnight

Along the sculptures of the western wall

I watched the moonlight creeping:

It moved as if it hardly moved at all

Inch by inch thinly peeping

Round on the pious figures of freestone, brought

And poised there when the Universe was wrought

To serve its centre, Earth, in mankind’s thought.

The lunar look skimmed scantly toe, breast, arm,

Then edged on slowly, slightly,

To shoulder, hand, face; till each austere form

Was blanched its whole length brightly

Of prophet, king, queen, cardinal in state,

That dead men’s tools had striven to simulate;

And the stiff images stood irradiate.

A frail moan from the martyred saints there set

Mid others of the erection

Against the breeze, seemed sighings of regret

 At the ancient faith’s rejection

Under the sure, unhasting, steady stress

Of Reason’s movement, making meaningless


From: Thomas Hardy, Human Shows (1925)




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