(1682–1773). French military engineer. He is known primarily for his championship of arcuated rather than columnar and trabeated structures, and for his perceptive writings on Gothic architecture, especially his La Théorie et la pratique de la coupe des pierres et des bois pour la construction des voûtes …ou, traité de stéréotomie, à l'usage de l'architecture (Theory and Practice of the Cutting of Stones and Woods for the Construction of Vaults …or, Treatise on Stone-Cutting for Use in Architecture), first published 1737–9. He noted that Gothic structures were accurately conceived, depending upon carefully balanced systems of thrust and counter-thrust, and in his formal analysis he revealed the principles of order and construction in Gothic architecture, although he did not favour reintroducing its forms into contemporary work. He opposed Cordemoy's views, and can be said to have been a prophet of Romantic Classicism. He published (1738) a book on the Orders of Architecture, and designed the high-altar and baldacchino, Church of St-Louis, Brest (1742–58—destroyed).
From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.