During C18 many architectural theorists, notably M. de Frémin (1702), J. -L. de Cordemoy (1706), and M. -A. Laugier (1753), argued for a greater rationalism in architectural design, and especially for the structural and honest use of the Classical Orders, avoiding superfluous fripperies and excessive sur-face-decoration. Laugier, notably, proposed a cleansing of design, a re-examination of first principles, and a study of the origins and sources of architecture which he saw as evolving from a simple structure of four tree-trunks, still growing and rooted in place, with lintels composed of sawn logs, and branches providing an elementary pitched roof. This was perceived as the prototype for all great architecture, including the Classical temple, so leading to archaeological endeavours to find the earliest and original exemplars of Classical buildings where the Orders were used for construction rather than applied or engaged for decorative effects. Inevitably this led to studies of Antique remains, notably those of Ancient Greek architecture: Paestum, for example, provided models of tough, uncompromisingly primitive architecture, and the Primitive Hut was regarded as the original form, a type, so a potent ideal in Neo-Classicism.
CoE (1972);J. Curl (1992);Middleton & Watkin (1987);Vidler (1990)