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L'appareil de l'architecture moderne : new materials and architectural modernity in France, 1889-1934

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dc.contributor.advisor Stanford Anderson. en_US Legault, Réjean en_US
dc.coverage.spatial e-fr--- 2005-08-18T18:30:40Z 2005-08-18T18:30:40Z 1997 en_US 1997 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture and Planning, 1997. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (v. 3, leaves 470-517). en_US
dc.description.abstract This dissertation is an historical inquiry into the role played by new building materials in the formation of architectural modernism in France. It proceeds on the theoretical assumption that a "material" is not a technical given -- a securely defined entity in the physical and linguistic senses -- but an architectural construct whose "inherent properties" are a matter of interpretation. It suggests that within a specific architectural culture, the conceptions and uses of a material are defined by concerns that are not only constructional but involve architectural doctrines, building practices, aesthetic projects, and cultural strategies. Since the publication of Sigfried Giedion's Bauen in Frankreich. Bauen in Eisen. Bauen in Eisenbeton (1928), reinforced concrete has been commonly accepted as the common denominator of French modernism. The dissertation questions this interpretive assumption, focusing on the changing conceptions of the material as an index of transformations in French architecture and architectural culture. It covers a period that spans from the Universal Exhibition of 1889 to the early 1930s, a period which saw the development of reinforced concrete in French architecture, from its emergence within architectural discourses to its inscription within early modernist historiography. Through a close examination of contemporary books and periodicals, unpublished sources, and graphic documents, the dissertation explores the theories and works that framed the critical relationship of new material to French modernism. Inaugurated with the late nineteenth-century demise of metal as the leading material in architectural theory, the preeminence of reinforced concrete in French architecture was marked by the dispersion of rationalist tenets into competing architectural programs. The First World War was a pivotal event in this process. Of principal importance were the positions of Auguste Perret and Le Corbusier. While Perret insisted on continuity with prewar practices, emphasizing the role of craft production, Le Corbusier embraced the rupture brought about by the societe machinique, shifting towards the idea of industrialized construction. These positions were key to the technical and aesthetic definition of the modem house, from the function of the concrete frame to the nature of external revetments. They also led the way to the cultural and ideological debates that ensued on the nationality of the material and the sources of modem architecture. In the late 1920s the return of metal merely underscored the "rhetoric of materials" in the definition of French modernism. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Réjean Legault. en_US
dc.format.extent 3 v. (517 leaves), [134] leaves of plates en_US
dc.format.extent 65439842 bytes
dc.format.extent 65439600 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Architecture en_US
dc.subject Urban Studies and Planning en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Architecture -- France. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Architecture -- France -- 20th century en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Reinforced concrete construction -- France. en_US
dc.title L'appareil de l'architecture moderne : new materials and architectural modernity in France, 1889-1934 en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 36974915 en_US

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