This 1893 Italian Renaissance-style building was used as a set in the movie Blade Runner, but I think it looks better here, especially since it was renovated in 1991.
The word I would use to describe the atrium is “atmospheric.” The big space has grandeur. The wrought-iron ornament gives it texture. The wood and stone give it richness of color. The cage elevators in their open shafts give it a steampunk feeling.
I love atmosphere. It’s one of the great things about novels by Victor Hugo. Romantic art in general specialized in it, with all those poems and paintings about ruined churches. It is frequently spooky, but I don’t think it has to be. (It isn’t in this picture.) At some point I hope to write more about atmosphere and romanticism.
You can see (and buy) more photos of great buildings at www.greatbuildings.com.
Please leave a comment, with a link if possible, about your favorite example of atmosphere.