In the Studio: Eiffel Yellow
[Eiffel Yellow (2011) /Image & Artwork: designslinger studio]
In 1884 there were rumblings around Paris that France should celebrate the 100th anniversary of their revolution with a big event of some sort. Maybe a huge exposition - in Paris - demonstrating the power and glory of France since the fall of the Bourbon monarchy in 1789.
[Eiffel Tower (1889) Maurice Koechlin, Émile Nouguier, Stephen Sauvestre, Gustave Eiffel, Compagnie des Estalissments Eiffel /Image & Artwork: designslinger studio]
Over at the offices of the Compagnie des Establissment Eiffel structural engineers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier sketched-out a few ideas for an immense steel-framed tower that could serve as the focal point for the proposed world's fair. Koechlin made a drawing, and then when the firm's lead architect Stephen Sauvestre added a few non-structural, decorative arches the firm's president Gustave Eiffel though they might have something there. He bought the patent of the design from his employees, and began a marketing and promotional campaign to convince fair organizers that his Tour de 300 Metres should be included in the Exposition's plans.
[Eiffel Yellow - Black block /Image & Artwork: designslinger studio]
Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel had started his career with a bang in 1858 when he was put in charge of overseeing the design and construction of a 1,600 foot long cast-iron bridge spanning the Garonne River near Bordeaux. In 1864 he started his own company and was no stranger to Paris' self-promoting world's fair expositions. He was the chief designer of massive oval-shaped l' Palais du Champ-de-Mars at the 1867 exposition univeselle, and Eiffel's firm designed and built the roof pieces over the main and side entrances of the immense le Palais du Champ du Mars at the 1878 version of L' exposition universelle de Paris. Which also had on display a portion of sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty, for which Bartholdi would seek Eiffel's advice and help in constructing the steel frame that supported the sculpture's pounded copper cover.
[Eiffel Yellow - Yellow Block /Image & Artwork: designslinger studio]
After completing several versions of our take on the Tour Eiffel, we stepped back and chose the one that best conveyed our impressions of the visual power of the tower. Choosing black for the key block was easy, but we went back and forth on a whether to use red, blue or yellow for the background. We printed three versions, hung them on the wall for a couple of weeks, and chose yellow.
See the finished version here: Eiffel Yellow.