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1850 – Ste-Genevieve Library, Paris

Architect: Henri Labrouste


Designed in 1839, and opened in 1851, the library was intended to contain the treasures of a nearby cloister. Like the Old Library in Trinity College Dublin, the library has a two-story reading room on the upper level over a lower level entrance. The reading room has cast iron columns and ornamental trusses supporting a decorative painted vaulted ceiling. It was here that the general uprising of 1968 started with a student protest.

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1989 – Opéra de la Bastille, Paris

Architect: Carlos Ott The result of a gigantic international competition, this building is one of the more maligned of the...