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October 20th 1911, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

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Paris, France

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Article last edited by krazin on
June 06th, 2011

Bernard Zehrfuss Change this

Change thisParis, France
born 1911, Neuilly-sur-Seine

Zehrfuss, standing with pipe at a design meeting for the ...

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Bernard Louis Zehrfuss (October 20th 1911 – July 3rd 1996) was a French architect. Bernard Zehrfuss' family was originally from Alsace. He attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from the age of 18 and won its most prestigious award, the Prix de Rome in 1939 (also the year of his first major design, for the Sébastien Charléty Stadium in Paris), though the outbreak of the Second World War prevented him from taking up his stay at the Villa Medici in Rome. After a short stay in Nice, he became an assistant in Eugene Beaudouin's Marseilles workshop, then founded a short-lived artistic commune in nearby Oppède, a commune that attracted French sculptor François Stahly and the writer and artist Consuelo de Saint Exupéry. Zehrfuss then obtained a visa for Spain and joined the Free French Forces.

In French-controlled Algeria and Tunisia from 1943 through 1953, Zehrfuss was appointed to office in the Directorate of Public Works and built many well-received housing projects, schools and hospitals.

On return to France he was made Chief Architect of Public Buildings and National Palaces and participated in two high-profile projects: the 1953 European headquarters of UNESCO, a collaboration with Marcel Breuer and Pier Luigi Nervi, and the 1958 Center of New Industries and Technologies, one of the first buildings of La Défense. These stand among many French housing projects and embassies through the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1975 he designed the new building for the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon. In 1983, Zehrfuss was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts, where he became the perpetual secretary in 1994.

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