This conference echoed the recent publication of the eponymous book written – under the leadership of Arlette Auduc, head of the heritage survey department – by Antoine Le Bas, heritage conservation officer, and Jean-Bernard Vialles, photographer (see below).
Between 1850 and 1950, the use of bricks gained great popularity in the Paris region. For architects and builders, bricks had a number of advantages at a time when the methods used in the building sector were becoming industrialised: in particular, they were relatively cheap and they were produced locally. The architecture of factories and working-class housing are the first signs of this popularity, which gradually spread to public buildings, sports complexes, monuments and places of worship. Bricks can also be used in a wide range of artistic styles, ranging from buildings of historical inspiration to modernist-type creations and regionalist architectures.
In Paris, the Hôtel Gaillard, which will house the future Cité de l’économie et de la monnaie, was built during this period and was completed in 1882. It is a masterpiece of neo-Gothic/neo-Renaissance architecture. Its exterior and interior facades are mostly made of red bricks (see photo above), like the Louis XII wing of the Château of Blois, from which the architect Victor-Jules Février drew his inspiration.
For further information on the conference held on 19 May 2014 see the website of the Maison de l’Architecture en Île de France
For further information on the book Architectures de brique en Île-de-France 1850-1950 on the website of the publisher Somogy éditions d’art.
For further information on the architecture of the Hôtel Gaillard see this page.
Credits: Banque de France ; S. Asseline / Région Île-de-France.
Published on 12 November 2014.