Paris: An Architectural History

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Overview

Paris, with its majestic buildings, elegant boulevards, and colourful neighbourhoods, is often hailed as the most beautiful city in the world. In this lavishly illustrated book, one of the city's leading historians links the beauty of Paris to its harmonious architecture, the product of a powerful tradition of classical design running from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Anthony Sutcliffe traces the main features of the development of Parisian building and architecture since Roman times, explaining the interaction of continuity and innovation and relating it to power, social structure, the property market, fashion, and the creativity of its architects. Three hundred illustrations, most in colour, complement the text, expressing the full character of Paris architecture. Sutcliffe describes in fascinating detail how Paris merged medieval tradition with a Renaissance architecture imported from Italy - first by order of the Crown, then by the aristocracy, the Church, and the middle classes. Under Louis XIV this style became clearly French. After 1789 revolutions and industrialization threatened to undermine Parisian classicism, but it was reinforced by Haussmann in mid-century as part of the most impressive urban development project of all time. Because of Haussmann, says Sutcliffe, public and private buildings conformed to a more rigid design convention than any that Paris had previously known, a classical tradition that remained entrenched until the 1950s, when modernism made its impact in a high-rise revolution during the de Gaulle era. However, explains Sutcliffe, by 1970 this modernist architecture was rejected by the Paris public, and in the last decade the city has seen the emergence of a restrained neo-modern architecture that blends sensitively with the Parisian tradition.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Sutcliffe (economic and social history, U. of Leicester) shows how the physical Paris of today is an overlay of many styles of architecture, from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and preserves traditions that date back even to Roman times. He delves into the political, social, and economic contexts and significance of the various developments, and how architectural styles, unlike clothing fashions, have to be dealt with for a long time after someone thought they were a good idea. The book is highly illustrated, mostly in color, but is for scholars rather than tourists. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300054453
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/27/1993
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 8.66 (w) x 10.77 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Architecture and the Capital City 1
2 Paris at the Dawn of the Renaissance 8
3 Creating a French Urban Architecture, 1610-1715 24
4 The Eighteenth Century: Architectural Harmonisation at the Close of the Ancien Regime 48
5 Revolution, Empire and Restoration: the Implications for Architecture, 1789-1852 67
6 Paris as the Hub of French Industrialisation: Building a European Capital under the Second Empire, 1852-70 83
7 After Haussmann: a New Paris in an Era of Alternative Architectures, 1870-1914 105
8 The Modernist Challenge, 1918-45 138
9 The Vital Encounter: Modernity versus Tradition in Post-war Paris 160
10 Continuity in Paris Architecture: the Dynamics of a Unique Phenomenon 200
Notes 207
Selected bibliography 214
Index 218
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