Public spaces are interesting because we occupy them, often briefly or in passing, as consumers of their services; train stations, music halls, post offices, museums, and other places that function as a backdrop to our immediate needs. Many of these places don’t have the sweep and style today that they once were graced with in the era when grandeur was what cities or nations wanted to express about themselves. Not that there aren’t wonderful places still being built, but more often than not they are jammed with advertising and are made with a cost cutting and bottom line mentality.
So when I went to the TGV station in Avignon, on my way to Paris, I was taken in by the thoughtful design and simplicity of form of the engineering, and the way the light filled place made me feel. it seemed to me to be a pure expression of speed, and and speed is what the TGV is all about, And as I walked up the concourse ramp, not fast, but languidly, taking my time, I marked my admiration with photographs along the way.