Auguste Perret by OMA and PRADA

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OMA. Office for Metropolitan Architecture

Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis. OMA's buildings and masterplans around the world insist on intelligent forms while inventing new possibilities for content and everyday use. OMA is led by ten partners – Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, David Gianotten, Chris van Duijn, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Jason Long and Michael Kokora – and maintains offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha and Dubai.

OMA-designed buildings currently under construction include Taipei Performing Arts Centre, Qatar National Library, Qatar Foundation Headquarters, Bibliothèque Multimédia à Vocation Régionale in Caen, Fondation d’Entreprise Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Bryghusprojektet in Copenhagen, Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, and Faena Arts Center in Miami.

OMA's recently completed projects include Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2015); Fondazione Prada in Milan (2015); G-Star Headquarters in Amsterdam (2014); Shenzhen Stock Exchange (2013); De Rotterdam, a large mixed-use tower in the Netherlands (2013); CCTV Headquarters in Beijing (2012); New Court, the headquarters for Rothschild Bank in London (2011); Milstein Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York (2011); and Maggie's Centre, a cancer care centre in Glasgow (2011). Earlier buildings include Casa da Música in Porto (2005), Seattle Central Library (2004), and Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003).

 

Auguste Perret

Auguste Perret (February 12, 1874, Ixelles, Belgium - February 25, 1954, Paris, France). He started studying in the École of Beaux Arts in Paris, however, just before finishing, he abandoned his studies and started working with his father. He was one of the most important figures of the french architecture at the beginning of the 20th century, as he was a pioneer in the use of reinforced concrete in his buildings.

Although he and his family had french origins, due to political problems, his father was forced to take refuge in Brussels. It was in 1881, when they returned to their country of origin, settling in Paris.

His father was owner of a construction company, where Perret first came into contact with reinforced concrete, material in which the company was specialized, and would accompany Auguste through his professional career.

After leaving his studies in architecture, and having acquired a great amount of knowledge during this period, he began to work next to his father in the family company.

His beginnings in architecture begun with the construction of the building of Avenue Wragan, Paris, in 1902, where certain traits of the classicism are seen, and will revolve in the rest of his following creations. However, his first important work was the apartment building on rue Franklin in 1903. This was the first building of these characteristics made with reinforced concrete, presenting a neoclassical facade composition and the structure as a seen element on the facade. This will be the example of the use of concrete as a valid structural material, as well as an ornamental element in the facade, forming part of the key aspects he used in his work.

In 1905 he founded, alongside his brother Gustave Perret, the architectural studio A & G. Perret Architectes, where they established concrete as their main material. Shortly after, along with his other brother, Claude Perret, they created the building company Perret Frères Entrepeneurs.

Among many, Auguste Perret is considered the father of concrete, as he was the first one to use it as a structural and constructive element, as well as using it in a decorative and detailed manner as an ornamental element, being considered by him as aesthetic concrete.

Perret was one of the most innovative architects of the French classicism in the 20th century, being considered on many occasions as a precursor of modern architecture and always embodying the neoclassical character in his work.

In the 1920s he dedicated himself to the research and deepening of the various possibilities of the concrete, achieving this way a new image through the use of stained-glass windows in concrete, using it especially in churches. An example of this technique is the rehabilitation of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Among his most notable works we find the Ponthieu garage (1905), the Elysian Fields Theater (Paris, 1911), the church of Notre Dame in Le Raincy (1922), the Museum of Public Works (1937) and the reconstruction in 1946 of part of the city of Le Havre.

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