Auguste Perret


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French architect and building contractor. He and his brothers Gustave (1876–1952) and Claude (1880–1960) were among the first to exploit the architectural possibilities of reinforced concrete as evolved by Hennebique. Perret Frères's first reinforced-concrete multistorey building was the celebrated apartment-block at 25b Rue Franklin, Paris (1903–4), which has faïence patterns in the panels. They built the Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris (1911–13), loosely based on designs by Roger Bouvard and Henri van de Velde. Perret and his engineer, Louis Gellusseau, evolved reinforced-concrete technology so that the surface of the material itself would be exposed and sufficient thickness of concrete (theoretically) provided to ensure the internal steelwork was protected from damp. With the war-memorial Church of Notre Dame, Le Raincy (1922–4), a truly monumental work of architecture was created, with all the concrete unclad and exposed: the building received widespread publicity and established the reputation of the firm (although by 1985 the steel was rusting, and surfaces of the concrete were crumbling). At the apartment-block, 51–5 Rue Raynouard, Paris (1929–32), some of the concrete was finished with bouchardage (bush-hammering) to remove the cement film and expose the coarser aggregate within the concrete, one of the first instances of this technique. Perret also designed the Mobilier National (1934–5) and the Musée des Travaux Publics (1936–57), both in Paris, and both concrete buildings. His last works were the master-plan for the rebuilding of Le Havre (1949–56), which had been destroyed in the 1939–45 war, and the central square and centrally planned Church of St Joseph (1952). In all his works the discipline of Classicism, even in an extreme, stripped form, was rarely absent. He published Une Contribution à une théorie de l'architecture (A Contribution to a Theory of Architecture—1952).

Abram et al. (2000);Britton (2001);Champigneulle (1959);J-L. Cohen et al. (2002);P. Collins (1959);Doumato (1982);G. Fanelli & Gargiani (1990, 1991);Frampton (1980);Freigang (2003);Jamot (1927);Placzek (ed.) (1982);Perret (1959);Perret & Perret (1976);Jane Turner (1996);Zahar (1959)

Subjects: Architecture.

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