August Perret (1874-1954)

French Architect and Building Contractor, Perret was a precursor of Modern Architecture. The reason of his fame can be found in his pioneering application of reinforced-concrete and in the ability to foresee new possibilities in architectural figurative expression.


August Perret (1874,1954), old picture.
August Perret (1874,1954), old picture.

image source: https://www.architectural-review.com/rethink/reviews/auguste-perret-the-maverick-grand-old-man-of-french-architecture/8656897.article


ABOUT HIS LIFE

Auguste Perret was born in Ixelles, Belgium in 1874. He was a prosperous builder’s son, and with his brothers Gustave and Claude, inherited father’s building company. Here they began experimenting with reinforced concrete and for their first project, they created first multistory concrete building by utilizing reinforced concrete. Together quickly established themselves as specialists in concrete design. Perret entered in the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1891, but never officially graduated because it would have negated his ability to work as a contractor.


info source: http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/architecture-biographies/auguste-perret

August Perret, old picture.
August Perret, old picture.

image source: https://artchist.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/church-of-notre-dame-du-raincy-in-raincy-by-auguste-gustave-perret/church-of-notre-dame-du-raincy-in-raincy-by-auguste-gustave-perret-22/

WHAT WERE HIS MAJOR WORKS?

With his brothers, Gustave and Claude, he built (1903) at 25 rue Franklin, Paris, probably the first apartment block designed for reinforced-concrete construction. His garage on the rue de Ponthieu (1905) demonstrates how light and open an interior can be when the use of reinforced concrete has minimized the need for structural supports. Through its exposed frame, the garage exhibits Perret’s concern for structural honesty.

Apartment at rue Franklin, Perret, 1903,  Paris, France.
Apartment at rue Franklin, Perret, 1903,  Paris, France.

image source: http://parisisinvisible.blogspot.it/2011/09/homes-of-auguste-perret-rue-franklin.html

A visible framework was also a notable characteristic of the interior of his Paris Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (1913). He used thin shell roof vaulting for his warehouses in Casablanca (1915) and elegant concrete arches for a clothing factory in Paris (1919). Publicity resulting from Perret’s Church of Notre-Dame at Le Raincy (1922–23), near Paris, probably fully established the novel and progressive character of his ideas and the immense structural possibilities of reinforced concrete.

info source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Auguste-Perret

Church of Notre-Dame, Perret, 1922–23, Le Raincy, France.
Church of Notre-Dame, Perret, 1922–23, Le Raincy, France.

image source: https://artchist.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/church-of-notre-dame-du-raincy-in-raincy-by-auguste-gustave-perret/church-of-notre-dame-du-raincy-in-raincy-by-auguste-gustave-perret-22/

WHICH WAS THE MAIN FEATURE OF PERRET’S STYLE?

Perret blended modern architecture with Gothic forms. In contrast to modern theorists, Perret gived attention to detail and texture. He connected natural forms, classical symmetry and order, and the structural system of concrete.

Although Perret viewed concrete as a superior form of construction to masonry, he viewed each element separately. He did not use concrete to form a structural whole in the way suggested by Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius.

info source: http://www.greatbuildings.com/architects/Auguste_Perret.html

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Perret, 1913, Paris, France.
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Perret, 1913, Paris, France.

image source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1858608

Other Buildings

  • Concert hall of the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, 1929
  • Hotel Saint-Georges, Beirut, Lebanon 1932
  • Extensions to the Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1945
  • City Hall, St. Joseph’s Church and further reconstruction of the French city of Le Havre after more than 80,000 inhabitants of that city were left homeless following World War II, 1949–1956
  • Gare d’Amiens, 1955
  • Villa Aghion, in Alexandria (partial attempt to destroy, 28 August 2009. Destroyed completely by January 21, 2016)
  • Tour Perret, Grenoble

info source: https://alchetron.com/Auguste-Perret-1236160-W

Gare d'Amiens (formerly Gare du Nord),Perret, 1955, Amiens, France.
Gare d’Amiens (formerly Gare du Nord),Perret, 1955, Amiens, France.

image source: http://www.wikiwand.com/fr/Gare_d%27Amiens#/Galerie_de_photographies 

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