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BY:

A R .

N I D H I

J O S H I

INTRODUCTI

ON

NAME : Marc Antoine Laugier ALSO KNOWN AS : L' Abbé Laugier PERIOD : 1713-1769 ( 18 th Century ) LOCATION : Manosque, Provence, France OCCUPATION : Jesuit priest and architectural theorist FAMOUS FOR : His “Essay on Architecture”

INTRODUCTI ON NAME : Marc Antoine Laugier ALSO KNOWN AS : L' Abbé Laugier PERIOD :

BIOGRAPHY

As a Jesuit priest, Laugier fulfilled erudite (having or showing great knowledge or learning) education that surpassed theological frames.

Furthermore, he was a highly gifted person, being eloquent, perspicacious and skillful orator, writer and translator.

During his life, he was very respected by the highest cultural circles in France and other parts of the world.

He was elected a member of the Academy of Science in Anger, Lyon and Marsey, and his works were translated into the main world languages.

When he wrote his first book “Essay on Architecture” (1753), Laugier was already more than forty years old.

Until the end of his life, during the next sixteen years, he published twelve books, as well as a significant number of articles, translations and short texts.

CULTUROLOGICAL CONTEXT OF LAUGIER’S WORK

In the 18th century, Europe was marked by several revolutions that brought a complete change in socials norms and beliefs.

Enlightenment as a spiritual and philosophical movement was based on reason as the highest human value and included every single aspect of human existence.

Using reasonable and logical viewing, enlighteners initiated a revolution in traditional structures that were imposed by the Church and the absolute ruler.

The theological metaphysical learnings were rejected, while the optimistic faith in human advancement through practicing science was acquired.

The new democratic social relations based on the postulates of justice and equality of all the people were demanded.

With these goals enlighteners wanted to form a humanist societ

LAUGIER’S ARCHITECTURAL

THEORY

Laugier’s views on architecture examined the whole history and theory of architecture, starting from Vitruvius. The beliefs that were regarded as irrefutable for centuries were considered wrong and vague by Laugier.

The architecture that was defined by the arranged cosmic order with numerous symbolic meanings was now deprived of its metaphysical character.

Laugier was among the first theoreticians that used constructive logic that was more powerful than the secret symbolic meaning of numbers and proportions in architecture.

With his radical attitudes he succeeded in starting a reformation of architecture, stressing that renaissance models of thinking were long gone and confirming his modernist views that were led by reason as the main postulate of enlightenment.

Laugier’s views caused a big public attention.

Based on the classicistic theory, Laugier’s radical system of rules rejected all the elements of “confusing and bizarre”, and not only the ones belonging to rococo, but also the elements that were used in architecture for centuries as parts of classical expression, like pilasters, niches and pedestals.

Laugier criticized lots of baroque and renaissance elements, for example spiral columns He completely rejected the Roman Tuscan and Composite architectural order, but reformed the classic Greek Ionic, Doric and Corinthian order.

ALL THE ABOVE EXAMPLES BELONG TO “ROCOCO” STYLE OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE

THESE 2 ARE EXAMPLES OF BAROQUE ARCHITECTURE

LAUGIER’S THEORY OF THE PRIMITIVE HUT

LAUGIER’SARCHITECTURAL

THEORY

Laugier represents one of the first minds that introduced the

revolutionary ideas in the field of aesthetic viewing of architecture.

Laugier outlined his theory about architecture in the 1753 (Essai sur l'architecture) Essay on Architecture”.

In 1755 he published the second edition with a famous, often reproduced illustration of a primitive hut. This iconic frontispiece illustration was done by French artist Charles Eisen .

According to Laugier, all architecture derives from these three essential, primitive elements:

  • 1. The column

  • 2. The entablature

  • 3. The pediment

LAUGIER’SARCHITECTURAL • THEORY Laugier represents one of the first minds that introduced the revolutionary ideas in

Laugier paved the way for structural classicism, seeing the column, the entablature and the pediment as the supreme elements of architecture and claimed that, except from their regular forming and distributing, nothing else was needed to add in order for a building to be perfect.

THE PRIMITIVE HUT EXPLAINED

THE PRIMITIVE HUT EXPLAINED • In the picture, an idyllic woman (perhaps the personification of Architecture)

In the picture, an idyllic woman (perhaps the personification of Architecture) points out a simple rustic cabin to a child (perhaps the unknowing, naive architect).

The structure she points to is simplistic in design, uses basic geometric shapes, and is constructed from natural elements.

Laugier's Primitive Hut is his representation of the philosophy that all architecture derives from this simple ideal.

THE PRIMITIVE HUT ILLUSTRATED

Laugier theorizes that man wants nothing but shade from the sun and shelter from storms. "The man is willing to make himself an abode which covers but not buries him," Laugier writes. "Pieces of wood raised perpendicularly, give us the idea of columns. The horizontal pieces that are laid upon them, afford us the idea of entablatures."Branches form an incline that can be covered with leaves and moss, "so that neither the sun nor the rain can penetrate therein; and now the man is lodged."

Laugier concludes that "The little rustic cabin that I have just described, is the model upon which all the magnificences of architecture have been imagined."

THE PRIMITIVE HUT ILLUSTRATED • Laugier theorizes that man wants nothing but shade from the sun

LAUGIER’SARCHITECTURAL

In his system of structuralist THEORY

aesthetics, Laugier established the following

elements in architecture:

  • 1. les parties essentielles (the essential elements),

  • 2. les parties introduites par besoin (the elements introduced out of need) and

  • 3. les parties ajoutées par caprice (the elements used out of caprice).

[Caprice: decadence meaning moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury.]

•. The essential elements of architecture respected the principle of primitive hut

and consisted of column, entablature and pediment –as descried earlier, they

were fundamental and no architectural building could be built without

them.

•. The elements introduced out of need were walls, windows and doors.

Laugier approved them only because they were necessary due to commodité

(commodity), but believed that they undermined the basic principles of primitive

hut.

•.

The elements used out of caprice represent major errors in

LAUGIER’SARCHITECTURAL

THEORY

Led by this division of architecture, Laugier

established three levels of aesthetic categories:

  • 1. beautés (beauty),

  • 2. licences (necessity or justification) and

  • 3. défauts (errors),

•. which were equivalents to good, bad and wrong.

•. Among faults he lists for columns are that of "being engaged in the wall", the use of pilasters, incorrect entasis (swelling of the column), and setting columns on pedestals.

•.

Being embedded in the wall detracts from the overall beauty and aesthetic nature of columns;

•. Laugier states that columns should be free.

•.

He goes on to assert that the use of pilasters should strictly be frowned upon especially since in nearly every case columns could be used instead.

•. The second fault is created by incorrect proportion, and the last he believes is more of

LAUGIER’SARCHITECTURAL • THEORY Led by this division of architecture, Laugier established three levels of aesthetic categories:

LAUGIER’SARCHITECTURAL

THEORY

A great part of The Essay’s significance is found in Laugier’s expressing a critical attitude towards the existing architecture.

His views caused a series of discussions in public and directly influenced the forming of classicistic style in French architecture.

By analyzing Laugier’s rationalist aesthetics, we may perceive three significant tendencies that are ever present in his aesthetic concept of architecture.

These are :

  • 1. vérité (truthfulness)

  • 2. simplicité (simplicity)

  • 3. naturalisme (naturality).

•. We may conclude that these tendencies make an entire system that represent the most important contribution of Laugier’s architectural aesthetics.

WHY IS LAUGIER'S PRIMITIVE HUT IMPORTANT?

  • 1. The essay is considered a major treatise in architectural theory. It is often cited by teachers of architecture and practicing architects even in the 21st century.

  • 2. Laugier's expression is pro-Greek Classicism and reacts against the Baroque ornamentation and decoration of his day.

  • 3. It established the argument for future architectural movements, including 18th century Neoclassicism and the 21st century trend toward unadorned, eco-friendly dwellings .

  • 4. The Primitive Hut idea supports a back-to-nature philosophy, a romantic idea which gained popularity in the mid-18th century and influenced literature, art, music, and architecture.

  • 5. Defining the essential elements of architecture is a statement of purpose, a philosophy that drives the work of an artist. Simplicity of design and the use of natural materials, what Laugier believes are architectural essentials, are familiar ideas that have been embraced by modern architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright.

  • 6. Laugier's rustic cabin is sometimes call The Vitruvian Hut, because Laugier built on ideas of natural and divine proportion documented by the ancient Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius.

ARCHITECTS INFLUENCED BY LAUGIER

Sir John Soane Le Corbusier Thom Mayne