Jules Lavirotte


Jules Lavirotte

Jules Aimé Lavirotte (Lyon, March 25 1864 - Paris, March 1924) was a French architect who designed no fewer than nine buildings still standing in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, or in immediately surrounding arrondissements. His flamboyantly presented work won him acclaim among his contemporaries, and won him the Concours de Façades de la Ville de Paris on at least two occasions: for the building at 29 Avenue Rapp (1901), and for the Ceramic Hotel, 34 Avenue de Wagram (1904).

Early Life

Lavirotte was born in Lyon, and went on to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, where he was a pupil of Antoine Georges Louvier (1818-92). He subsequently studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under the tutelage of Paul Blondel (1847-97), and gained his architect's diploma there in 1894. [Franco Borsi and Ezio Godoli: Paris 1900, page 213-226, 278 (1978, Granada Publishing Ltd., St Albans and London)]

Buildings

151 Rue de Grenelle, 7th arrondissement (1898)
12 Rue Sedillot, 7th arrondissement (1899)
3 Square Rapp, 7th arrondissement (1899)
134 Rue de Grenelle, 7th arrondissement (1900)
29 Avenue Rapp, 7th arrondissement (1901)
Chateau at Chaouat (Tunisia, c.1904)
Villa at Chaouat (Tunisia, c.1904)
Restoration of the Church at Chaouat (Tunisia, c.1904)
34 Avenue de Wagram, 8th arrondissement (1904)
169 Boulevard Lefebvre, 15th arrondissement (1906)
23 Avenue de Messine, 8th arrondissement (1906, top floors added later, doing away with Lavirotte’s garden roof)
6 Rue de Messine, 8th arrondissement (1907)
2 Rue Balzac, Franconville, Val d’Oise (c.1907)

151 Rue de Grenelle, 7th arrondissement (1898)

The first major building designed by Lavirotte, the largely restrained French Rococo facade offers only hints of the theatrical ornament for which Lavirotte was to become known.

12 Rue Sedillot, 7th arrondissement (1899)

The earliest Lavirotte building to feature an unconventional but shameless assemblage of fantastical themes, motifs and oddities.

29 Avenue Rapp, 7th arrondissement (1901)

The large scale deployment of glazed earthenware on the facade of this building is the first example of its kind in the West. [Maurice Rheims: The Age of Art Nouveau, page 32 (1966, Thames and Hudson, London)] Glazed tiles are embedded in the stone and in the brick, and they cover much of the facade. The ceramicist responsible for this finishing was one Mr Alexandre Bigot [The Grove Dictionary of Art (1996, ISBN 1884446000)] , and the building proved to be an effective advertisement for his wares. It was very lavishly adorned even by the standards of the many ceramically finished facades that were built in the following years, which were for the most part appointed this way because this was the way most expeditious to protect and beautify the iron and concrete materials whose use was fast becoming the standard. The building at 29 avenue Rapp also had a highly exotic doorframe designed by the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Larrive, and sculpted by Messrs Sporrer, Firmin-Marcelin Michelet, and Alfred-Jean Halou. [Maurice Rheims: The Age of Art Nouveau, page 32 (1966, Thames and Hudson, London)]

Notes

Further reading

http://www.paris1900.blogspot.com/search/label/Lavirotte
Roy Johnston: Parisian Architecture of the Belle Epoque (2007, ISBN 9780470015551)


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