When I arrived yesterday afternoon it was wet and gloomy, and my glimpse of a lighted upper window made me feel that domestic coloured glass brings much-needed brightness to northern streets on winter evenings. The sight of it was enough to confirm that I was in a foreign country, even if the weather was exactly the same as at home.
Today has been a much brighter day, and I had a quick walk around to see places I have visited before. I like Lille’s architecture – Flemish brick and French beaux-arts side by side, together demonstrating a prosperous past in textiles. I particularly like the Voix du Nord newspaper office: it really sets its principles in stone. And I also had a quick look at the Maison Coilliot, an Art Nouveau house which once fronted a ceramics factory and warehouse. The green tiles are of enamelled lava.
Even the basement lights are Art Nouveau: