My town's architecture, old, new, fabulous and frumpy.
Clermont-Ferrand is not exactly a jewelry box of medieval and rennaissance treasures, though we do have some. Most of the building is 19th and 20th century, with the latter 20th century being a time of horrible post-war dreck and an unfortunate penchant for naked concrete. Today we're more into glass & steel with a nod to the more traditional styles.
If the streets seem deserted, it's just the holiday! And the black stone is a regional specialty, quarried from our local volcanos.
In the pedestrian district in the old town. The shops are just closed for the day! They're in the same storefronts as ever, centuries after the buildings were put up. I am assured there is electricity, heat, and plumbing everywhere. The flamboyant gothic era cathedral, and the new fountain celebrating Pope Urbain the Second preaching the First Cruisade. Pretty fountain, scary thought.
In the center of town we have a huge empty square. It's useful when they bring in the huge screen TVs for everyone to watch the world cup together, or when there's a concert or something. But usually it's just rather too much flat empty space.
Two steps away in the center they've razed a whole city block to make way for something new. The archeological study is taking its time, and you can still see the vestiges of the very very old architecture of the city.
Then turn halfway back to the open square and there's the mall, recently covered over with mily-blue glass panels. Trust me, this is better than the original 1970's façade we had until last year!
These are a couple of typical homes, followed by one of the larger public housing projects. Fortunately, the French have decided that these huge housing projects do not really serve the city best. They're ugly and nobody likes to go there. They become dangerous because they group poor people together and surround them with this unpleasant environment with nothing to do, no jobs, nowhere to be but in your shoebox apartment. The trend now is toward groups of up to a dozen apartments, with balconies and green spaces. People don't feel so helpless there.
These are pictures of the public hospital site, with the general public hospital sporting an ochre finish, and the spanking new biological laboratories building in steel & glass. My hospital, the Jean Perrin cancer center, is just across the parking lot. Built in the 70's, it would be so expensive to renovate and bring up to code for overnight patient care that a new patient building will go up in our current doctors' parking lot next year. I work in an annex out back that will be razed for parking.