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Birth date / place

March 21st 1736, Dormans-sur-Marne, France

Selected Architecture

Practice / Active in Change this

Paris, France


Article last edited by françois on
July 15th, 2012

Claude-Nicolas Ledoux Change this

Change thisParis, France
born 1736, Dormans-sur-Marne

Claude-Nicolas Ledoux by Martin Drolling (1752-1817), Mu ...

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Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (March 21th, 1736 – November 18th, 1806) was one of the earliest exponents of French Neoclassical architecture. He used his knowledge of architectural theory to design not only in domestic architecture but town planning; as a consequence of his visionary plan for the Ideal City of Chaux, he became known as a utopian.[1] The French architect, was in the 18th Century as one of the most advanced builders. Claude-Nicolas Ledoux was one of the representatives of the architectural revolution. Especially in his writings of architectural theory, he was much worried about the ideal city as a living place of virtuous people who were supposed to live in harmony with their fellow residents and nature. Even today, the royal saltworks at Arc-et-Senans Français du Doubs department in a structural fame, which was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Claude-Nicolas Ledoux learned the craft from the neoclassical architecture architect Jacques François Blondel. There followed a four-year sojourn in the provinces of maroon and Champagne. There he built village churches, bridges and schools. In 1766 Ledoux had matured in Paris. There, he designed and built several palaces in the style of classicism, such as the Hotel d’Halwyll from the year 1766.

As early as 1773, the architect of King Louis XVI. commissioned to build the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans in the department Français du Doubs. Salt was then the meaning as the oil in the present. He was required not only to preserve food, but also for the manufacture of glass and silver products. The construction of the royal salt works was completed in 1779. The entire system was regarded as a model system and is an ensemble of eleven buildings that stand in a semicircle to each other. Thus, they form an integrated operation with Siedehäusern, a working class neighborhood and a fantastic building for the Directorate.

The salt mine employed in its operational service in the years 1779-1898 more than 250 workers. The salt was recovered from a brine that has been brought in over a direct length of 23 kilometers from the rock salt deposits in Salins. The machinate is a historical monument of early manufacturing production and was accepted by UNESCO in the list of world cultural heritage. The Saline reveals the thought of ​​revolution architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux of an ideal form in architecture, the ball, the prism and the cylinder.

The salt mine is based on the architectural concept of the ideal city of Ledoux. During the French Revolution, the architect was jailed for a year. Then he concentrated on writing theoretical writings of architecture. He place it down his revolutionary thoughts about architecture. Ledoux played with the thought of ​​an ideal city as a life and home of the virtuous, which makes the architecture of the amicable coexistence with other human beings and nature.

The concept of the ideal city goes back to thoughts of contemporary philosophers and social reformers on the positive effects of the toiling work. She was credited with maintaining the morale and thus an end to terrible habits. Also Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, like the other Revolutionary architects submitted their plans based on these thoughts. This meant that the workers should live with their families to live and work sites.

Accordingly, the plotting of these projects saw the foundation of workplaces and residential buildings in one place. Here too, a garden was considered for self management. The thought of ​​the ideal town reaching to the provision of clothing. The revolutionary architecture Ledoux was associated with a `monumental geometric compositions, as the example of the plant in Saline of Arc-et-Senans and the ideal city of Chaux revealed. From the year 1780 plotted Ledoux 60 customs houses on the outskirts of Paris.

Here, too, he realized his basic geometric shapes. Ledoux notions of the ideal architecture culminated in the “architecture parlante”, with the house by a waterway shall flow a waterway and guard the house of a tire maker would then have the same shape as the manufactured goods which it manufactures. Although in his architecture Ledoux for the social and human needs of the users were in the foreground, he fell into disfavor during the French Revolution, because he had realized for the nobility and the royal family orders.

Claude-Nicolas Ledoux died on November 19th, 1806 in Paris.


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