Essential Architecture-  Paris

Hôtel Guimard

architect

Hector Guimard

location

122 Ave. Mozart (near the Michel-Ange-Auteuil Metro station)

date

1909-1912

style

Art Nouveau 

construction

masonry 

type

The architect designed it for himself with an atelier for his wife, Adeline, a painter. Town House (hôtel)
 
 
 
  Image- Michael Poisson
 
At first view one is struck by the architect's care in designing and positioning his windows and balconies. Defying rhyme and reason, they are each of a different cut, each placed where one would least expect it:...the window on the third story, a quarter of which is situated on the precise corner of the building and which appears to be haughtily indifferent to the classically arranged bay on the story below. Of particular note in this regard is the long fourth-story balcony surmounted by two lanterns of the type frequently used by Guimard.
Maurice Rheims. Hector Guimard. p140. 
 
This is the house that Guimard built for himself and his American wife, the painter Adeline Oppenheim. Installing his own office on the ground floor, he included north-facing studio windows on the top floor to give his wife good light to paint by. Crammed onto a peculiar narrow footprint, the tall house shows all of the architect’s influences. In the early 1890s, Guimard traveled to Britain. There, he was particularly affected by the great Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. On the way home, Guimard stopped in Brussels and spent time with architectural genius Victor Horta, who was at that time developing his signature Art Nouveau style. Horta manipulated cast iron so that it imitated tree branches, spreading out to support immense ceilings. Inspired, Guimard returned to Paris and introduced Art Nouveau to France. In this house, you can see the Horta influence in the melting Flemish windows. The tiles edging the roof and the wonderful natural rootedness of the house might remind you of the Edinburgh work of Rennie Mackintosh. Even when keeping a close eye on the bottom line, Guimard always worked with excellent craftsmen, using the best materials available, and the result here is a unified masterpiece. Guimard designed everything from the door locks to the furnishings. Tragically, when his widow attempted to leave the house to the city as a Guimard museum, she received no support and the interior furnishings were dispersed. The house is now divided into apartments.

links

 
www.essential-architecture.com