Essential Architecture-  Paris

Avenue Rapp, no. 29


Jules Lavirotte ceramic by Alexandre Bigot


Avenue Rapp, no. 29 near the École-Militaire Metro station




Art Nouveau 


masonry glazed ceramic elements


Close to the Lycée Italian Léonard-de-Vinci, is another structure designed by Lavirotte, Avenue Rapp, no. 29. Designed for the ceramist Alexander Bigot who designed the façade's glazed ceramic elements, it was built in 1901 when it won a municipal competition for the finest façade. Lavirotte's gift for exuberant forms attained its zenith in this façade, whose bravura set piece is the doorway.

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.
Art Nouveau has been along with eclectism and historiscism. Some buildings, like the one built at 29, avenue Rapp, Paris 7 by Lavirotte in 1901 are close to these movements. Dali liked very much this facade because he thought it was the most erotic facade of Paris. If you don't believe him, come and see yourself! 
This building is considered the masterpiece of Lavirotte. I apologise for the shadow of this annoying tree, but you know, it was summer, and shadows do happen. I’m afraid you can only imagine the richness and grace of the decoration, as usually very heavy but also very voluptuous. Every inch of the facade is tiled with ceramic by Alexandre Bigot (the same who tiled Hotel Ceramic).

The imposing front door, much nicer of the one seen in Square Rapp, 3 made scandal. It is crowned by a woman’s head (the story goes this was Lavirotte’s wife) and Adam and Eve, naked, banned from Eden. The door itself is a real explosion of wood and iron working, with a very organic touch, typical of Lavirotte.

Now.. thanx to Thierry, I can just add another big scandal on the front door. Look for a giant, upside down penis.. so the aforementioned "very organic touch" gets a whole new meaning..