French architects active from the reign of Louis Quinze (1715–74) to that of Louis-Philippe (1830–48). The most distinguished members were Marie-Joseph (1730–85) and his younger brother Antoine-François (1739–1823). Marie-Joseph, a pupil of Blondel, was an influential innovator who shot to fame with his Œuvres d'architecture (1765), which featured several vast Neo-Classical schemes that had an immense effect on architecture for the next few decades. In particular, his studies of Antique Roman remains (with de Wailly and Moreau-Desproux) had prompted his advocacy of ingenious internal planning with top-lit rooms, something that was to influence Adam, the younger Dance, and Gondouin, among others. His Hôtel Leprêtre de Neubourg, Clos Payen, near Paris (1762—destroyed); was one of the first Neo-Classical buildings in France, and a highly original, compact, modest composition applicable to quite ordinary houses. With de Wailly he designed (1768–82) the Théâtre-Français (later Théâtre de l'Odéon), a severe Neo-Classical building (rebuilt by Chalgrin after a fire of 1799). A. -F. Peyre, who taught Percier, Fontaine, and A. -L. -T. Vaudoyer, designed the Electoral Palace and Chapel at Koblenz, Germany (1780–92), for Clemens Wenzeslaus, Elector and Archbishop of Trier (1768–94—destroyed): it was a simplified version of the grand scheme of 1777 by d' Ixnard. Peyre also excavated the Roman antiquities at Trier, publishing his findings in 1785. He designed the noble Akademiesaal in the Electoral Palace at Mainz (1786–7), and was responsible for part of the new Neo-Classical Clemensstadt (later Neustadt), Koblenz (1782–3).
M. -J. Peyre's son, Antoine-Marie Peyre (1770–1843), was for a time aide-de-camp to General M. -J. -P. -Y. Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (1757–1834), and subsequently had a career as an architect in Paris.
Builder (1980);Middleton & Watkin (1987);Jane Turner (1996);Watkin & Mellinghoff (1987)