Friday, 10 October 2008

Hector Guimard, ses œuvres architecturales.

Later in the afternoon we lunched at the Musée Branly, and visited an old friend close by. Here we inspected Le Castel Béranger at 14, Rue Jean de la Fontaine, which was designed in 1895 by Hector Guimard an architect, who is widely considered today to be the most prominent representative of the French Art Nouveau movement. His greatest success was his famous entrances to the Paris Metro which are so much a part of the landscape of Paris.

The following is taken from the sign outside the Castel Béranger and I'm sorry it's in French, but it goes with the territory - so to speak !!

Le Castel Béranger
Né à Lyons le 10 Mars 1867, Hector Guimard entre en 1882 à l'Ecole des Arts décoratifs de Paris dans l'atelier de Charles Genuys, puis à l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts en 1885.
Destiné à l'Exposition universelle de 1889, le Pavillon de l'Electricité préfigure déjà son goût pour le néo-gothique et l'emploi de matériaux modernes, très influencé par les "Entretiens sur l'Art" de Viollet-le-Duc.
Entre 1894 et 1895, deux étés de voyages en Angleterre, en Hollande et en Belgique, où il fréquente Paul Hankar et Victor Horta, achèvant sa formation intellectuelle.
Dès la réalisation de ce Castel aussitôt surnommé "Dérangé", édifié entre 1895 et 1898, son architecte de vingt-sept ans fait figure de grande maître de l'Art nouveau.
Manifeste artistique, cet immeuble d'habitations à loyers modérés, dont Guimard lui-même occupe le rez-de-chaussée à partir de 1897, est primé au concourse de façades de la Ville, et célébré avec enthousiasme par ses premiers locataires, dont le peintre Paul Signac.


Cheltenhamdailyphoto said...

Wonderful shots as ever but I'm sorry to say I'm not keen on the building. It looks like some sort of crazy house, all higgledy-piggledy - the type you go in and are never seen again!

Webradio said...

Hé oui, c'est beau Paris !

Michael Salone said...

Sorry I haven't commented more, but I AM reading I promise! It's so much more interesting than the financial pages these days and they are quite exciting.

Jules said...

Very interesting - looks more like a building in Barcelona than Paris!!!

Nathalie H.D. said...

Agree with Michael about the pleasure of reading you.

As an architect, how do you personally relate to such an unusual building. Is it one you feel drawn to? one you wish you had designed? or just one you are curious about???

M.Benaut said...

"Personally", was the keyword, Nathalie.

When you look at the work of another person, whether it be text, built form, a sculpture or the manifestation of that person's personality in their presentation of themselves or an artifact they have created, you get a rare insight into that person's mind; their thought processes or how they "tick".

The beauty, or sometimes, the horror of the creator will be evident in what they display.

Creativity can be thought of as the synthesis in tangible form of a mind.
Preferably a mind that has analyzed the problem that he has set himself, and secondly the synthesis of the thought process that produces a tangible result to be evaluated by others.

When checking out young Hector G, I realized there was much to learn about him.
Where and how he accrued his ideas and who taught him. What was his personality and how did he relate to his victims / his clients, and in what regard did he hold them and others.

His presentation of his Art Nouveau style was brilliant; it was fluid and it was expressive. It did not suit all his clients, especially the ecclesiastical ones. His Metro entrances were a brilliant concept and to his credit, most remain today. However much of his work has been destroyed. Thankfully many of his original drawings rest in an American university, safe for posterity.

How did I relate to seeing Le Castel Béranger.
I felt that here was a mind, self-centred, brilliant and expressively bombastic.
Creatively he was single-minded and gifted and was actively building monuments to himself and anyone who would concur with his brilliance. That is not unusual. It is perfectly acceptable. The pursuit of mediocrity is one other alternative !!

I was dawn to it to read his mind, and yes, I really would love to have been his student. To have been a part of such a romantic era of design and personal expression.

Thank you Nathalie; and Michael too, for reading me.
The above dissertation is part of my reference frame for living, observing, and loving everything in life that can be appreciated, touched and eaten.

Anonymous said...

Ian thanks for treating me to this detailed reply which I indeed perceive as your reference frame for living. Precious. Very precious. And endearing.