JLD 03 - 31 - 2010

Paris was an interesting city for analysis because at first glance the city seemed very monotonous to me. Haussman's urban plan for Paris, although it produced beautiful buildings, enforced a code that made much of the city look the same because of its limited material palette and consistent building height. However, many important buildings from different times were allowed to exist, providing landmarks for one who is unfamiliar with wayfinding in the city. One of these buildings is the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. Its Gothic style and prominent place on the River Seine make it easily visible (top right). Haussman's plan also allowed boulevards to terminate at buildings of national importance, like at La Defense, the great arch (not pictured). After the plan was implemental Paris became an important place for modern buildings as well. Master architects like LeCorbusier designed villas for inside and outside the city like Villa LaRoche and Villa Savoye (bottom right), and Auguste Pierre designed his first reinforced concrete building to fit right between two other typical Parisian apartment blocks. Although the master plan of Paris gives it a look that is dominantly 19th century, this look also helps to highlight important works from other times.

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