Essential Architecture-  Paris

Lycée Italien Léonard-de-Vinci


Jules Lavirotte


12, rue Sédillot near the École-Militaire Metro station




Art Nouveau 




The Lavirotte is, after Hector Guimard, the best-known advocate of Art Nouveau in France. Over a very brief span of time, he built three structures in the same quarter. The earliest, an Italian secondary school, is still relatively restrained: its façade blends elements inspired by 18th Century models with Art Nouveau forms that become more emphatic in the later buildings.

Text and illustration quoted from- "Paris, Buildings and Monuments" An Illustrated Guide with over 850 Drawings and Neighborhood Maps. By Michael Poisson. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 463 pp, 1999.
This building, that now hosts an Italian college, lays in a district crowded by Lavirotte’s works. It is important to know that many Frenchmen consider Lavirotte superior to Guimard himself.Here we find that the modernist author was heavily influenced by the great baroque French castles, mostly in the roof-window and in the roof itself.But, don’t worry, Art Nouveau is still here, in the iron-worked balconies and in the honour window. If you find all this too heavy, too "baroque" in the decorations, this means you haven’t seen anything else by Lavirotte.This building is among the first works by this author.