Essential Architecture-  Paris

10 Rue Babylone, 6th.


E. Codry


10 Rue Babylone, 6th.




The Baron set out different categories for apartments, with varying regulations according to street size and neighborhood. His vision was so successful that long after his fall from power, apartments continued to be built according to his standard: 5 stories in locally-quarried “pierre de taille” with a crowning floor of maid’s rooms under a Mansard roof. This particular example is a sober interpretation at the high-class end of Haussmann’s buildings. Architect Codry chose to give this building sober individualistic details, inspired by Classicism. This beautifully stoic, discrete style became gradually more elaborate, even florid, as the century drew to a close. These streets, along Rue Saint-Sulpice and down Rue du Four, show the many variations of Haussmannism, from the unadorned to the over-the-top. Yet it’s always clear that the Haussmann building is based on the “hôtel particulier” floor plan: a courtyard gives light and reduces street noise in the bedrooms, and a street door leading to an entry hall gives the inhabitants a sense of protection from the street. Apartments are designed in consideration of people’s real needs and desires: the layouts are usually L-shaped to allow better light, and the front reception rooms were originally equipped with gas lighting, the very latest convenience. It was Haussmann who encouraged entire blocks to co-ordinate their balcony heights and windows. The 2nd and 5th floors tend to have balconies, as these were the two most desirable floors to live on: the 2nd because it was above street noise, but still not too far upstairs, and the 5th for its magnificent light (made more accessible once elevators became popular). Haussmann apartments featured parquet floors, moldings, and fireplaces with marble mantles, details which have usually been preserved and appreciated by later residents. Because of its proven success, the Haussmann standard dominated residential building in Paris until World War I, soaking up new influences and growing to 8 stories.


By Lisa Pasold (Special thanks to