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Modern Palaces VIII
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TOPIC: Modern Palaces VIII
#65357
Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take some pictures of actual palaces. Now that some time has passed, I would like to share those pictures just to show what they looked like.

Please, no politics. I really want this to be about the architecture.

The last installment in the series (finally!) is Al Faw Palace. This was the largest and grandest of all the palaces in the compound, and it made Perfume Palace look like a shed -- even though it featured much of the same shortcuts and poor construction as the other palaces.

This was a huge palace that basically took up an island in the middle of an artificial lake.


And a pretty decent size lake it is.


It would have been easy to leave a land bridge, but that is actually on pilings. Fish would swim underneath. Ducks would try to swim underneath, but sometimes the fish got them.


One side of the main front portion.


There was a colonnade on either side, each one forming a right triangle. On this side, office chairs were set up as an improvised break area.
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#65358
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
The front of the palace from across the bridge.


Same, closer in.


At night.


Same, further out.
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#65359
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
And moving around to the other side.


Since the lake is artificial, it is fairly shallow, and the bottom is pretty even, so the surface was usually very calm and provided some really nice reflections.


Here you can see that how far back the palace extended, and get a better sense of how big it was inside.


A little further out, with some shoreline on the right edge.
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#65360
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
Another shot of the main entrance.


One of the columns flanking the center arch.


Any arty perspective shot...


… and another that shows how the spiral pattern resolves at the base.


The front door. I had to wait a long time for the guy with the floor buffer to clear out.


Again, from a different angle.


And a close up of the metal text fixed to the stone on one side. (Yet again, i don't know what it says.)
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#65361
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
Front of the palace, beside the main entry. That's an octagonal tower at the corner -- the bottom level is enclosed, the top level is part of a continuous balcony.


Closer in. There are two stories beneath that balcony level.


A view of the area under the overhang. This was a big space -- kids could've played peewee soccer in that space.


Closer in.


The other side.


The octagonal tower on that side, and how the columns in front and the balcony level (and supports) met it.


More of the same.


And a closer view of the balcony level. Lots of lights out here, all strategically placed to be seen between the columns.
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#65362
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
One of the ground floor windows with the original metal grill.


The apex of one of the smaller arches in front of the building. Even the interior of the arches had decorative elements.


A detail of the top of one of the smaller columns in the front entrance area.


Looking down one arm of a colonnade. Similar view to the right, not pictured. (Should've done a panorama, darn it!)


On top of the colonnade, looking toward the continuous balcony on the upper level. That's the back side of one of those octagonal towers on the right.


Closer in on the balcony. Single square columns below, double round columns above.
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#65363
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
And we're walking…

This is the lobby, from the middle level. Here, we're about ten or fifteen yards inside the palace. Sorry the chandelier is washed out, but that is a really hard thing to photograph properly. We'll come back to it later.


The floor. From high up. Took a good while to get it without anyone in frame.


A pair of black columns (spaced evenly around the room) that supported the balcony running around the top (third floor) level. Bottom right, a backdrop for ceremonies and official functions.


Another look at the black columns. I'm pretty sure that's some kind of black marble tile, probably around a metal frame or a concrete pillar.


The base of one of the columns. Definitely takes up a full square.


And a close up of the middle of a base. Vertical tiles, alternating types of stone.
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#65364
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
Looking up again, you can see decorative etching in the stone wall (bottom of photo), the first balcony level (second floor), decorative painted relief on the underside of the second balcony level (third floor), and the top balcony level itself (alternating windows and metal shields).


And a close up of the top of the columns.
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#65365
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
This is one of the little chandeliers around the edges of the ground floor of the lobby, basically a decorated channel in the ceiling with lights every few yards. There's that etching at the top of the photo.


Better shot of the etching. Note the continuous flow from tile to tile.


The continuous balcony around the first level (second floor). Note the ceiling decorations and chandelier.


The decoration beneath the overhang of the second balcony level (third floor).


The second balcony level (third floor), with arched windows and metal shields. Note the ring of decorated ceiling in the dome, at the top of the photo.


Alternating shield and arch.


The arch.


The shield.


And the dome above it. That's the mounting for the main chandelier at top right.
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#65366
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
Ignore.
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#65367
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
A detail of the decorated ring around the base of the dome. I hope this conveys the almost overwhelming amount of texture in the design.


Another shot.


The decorated ring around the base, then the green dome around the wooden part of the chandelier mounting.


The decorated ring from the topmost balcony,


Twice.


Detail.


Another detail.
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#65368
Re:Modern Palaces VIII 6 Months ago  
The mounting for the chandelier, with its own ring of light fixtures.


Another look. For some reason, it reminds me of the center of a carousel.


From further down.


Zoomed in to see the level of detail in the decoration. Blue panels would have been attractive by themselves, but these are crackled with filigree around the edges!


Another attempt at photographing a chandelier. Bear in mind those are plastic beads on fishing line, but it still looks amazing.


A better shot. Note the guy standing at the railing just right of center at the bottom to get a sense of scale. The chandeliers on the perimeter are a good size to begin with, and there are sixteen of them around that huge center section.


Another shot, showing the chandelier in relation to the upper balcony level.


Truer colors, but the lights are more washed out. Still, one of the better shots I took of it.
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