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Curved space

Liège Guillemins railway station of the NMBS/SNCB, designed by Santiago Calatrava.

This is the start of a black&white mini-series (a triptych) of this famous station. Both celebrating the elegant line play and the spectacular engineering ánd investigating things like Calatrava's handling of the context and his organic metaphors.

This shot is about space and the way the station connects to its kinda drab surroundings, its context. Due to the unique characteristics of Calatrava’s work, there’s sometimes a strong tension in this respect. In the case of Estação do Oriente (Lisbon) the solution he found – the station literally reaching out to the big neighboring mall - is fabulous. Check out Mothership connection for this. In the case of the bridges of Hoofddorp (Netherlands) on the other hand, the bridges fail to make any connection with their rural surroundings and are waiting for the planned urbanization of the region. Check out Hyperbolae in the Polder for this.

I shot this pic from the end of one of the two transversal access galleries (reaching over the barrier, the cam in my outstretched arm, the screen of the G1 flipped out) whille being mesmerized by the enormous Calatravian space and the way the station seems to encapsulate its context: the Rue Paradis and the neighboring bus station.
Calatrava states that his architecture enables one "to get inside the sculpture", that a station "shouldn't look like a mall" and should give its users a "great, sometimes even religious experience". So in a way we are looking at a cathedral of mobility here.

The Photoshop work stream: I corrected the perspective and the slight lens distortion, altered the saturation, contrast, curves and levels for the whole pic and some elements separately, using different layers, blended the layers, converted to b/w using gradient mapping and differentially tweaking the contrast, USM-ed, added the signatured frame, resized and enhanced the edges and did a gentle USM (0,6px, 18%).

tkfun45, rbassin, adores, macjake, CLODO, timecapturer, danos, Royaldevon, jhm, Sonata11, annjackman, mayjayne, aliabazari heeft deze opmerking als nuttig gemarkeerd

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Additional Photos by Bert Hoetmer (bertolucci) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1932 W: 118 N: 4376] (14180)
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