Friday, May 22, 2009

The 5th and 6th floors

The classic Haussmannian structure was a building of 6 stories, no more than 20 metres high with eaves with a 45° incline. The typical earlier structures had very little exposed brick, but towards the end of the 19th century, a certain number were built with the final two stories constructed entirely in the material.
A superb example can be found in the 11th arrondissement. A magnficent 'ilot' structure, covering four separate streets (the Avenue Parmentier and Rues Deguerry, Darboy and du Chevet), it actually also has two individual entrances (130 and 132 Avenue Parmentier) and four street numbers, although apparently only a single architect and building permit.

It seems that this was something akin to a building fad which lasted approximately 30 years, with the first example being built in Paris in 1885 (12, Rue de la Pompe*). A new generation of architects wanted to transform the dominant Haussmannian face of the city, and this was the easiest and least controversial manner to add a touch of colour to the cityscape. In some respects, this was also an early pointer towards the arrival of Art Nouveau in city constructions.

Address: 130 & 132 Avenue Parmentier, 75011
Architect: Paul Fouquiau
Year of construction: 1891

* "La Brique à Paris", Bernard Marrey


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