Haussmannian buildings are true architectural gems that adorn the streets of Paris and other major French cities since the 19th century. They are the result of an urban renovation plan implemented by Prefect Haussmann during the reign of Napoleon III. These elegant and imposing structures bear witness to a bygone era, as well as remarkable craftsmanship. In this article, we will delve into the heart of these prestigious constructions to discover the materials used to create them.
Cut stone is one of the most iconic materials of Haussmannian buildings. It has been widely used for facades, cornices, and balconies. This noble material offers exceptional strength, ensuring the buildings' longevity over several centuries. Cut stone also bestows a unique charm upon Haussmannian buildings, with its color variations and intricate sculpted details.
Wrought iron is another indispensable material in Haussmannian architecture. It was used to create beautifully elaborate balconies, elegant window grilles, and sophisticated stair railings. Wrought iron added a touch of grace and delicacy to the robustness of the stone, contributing to the overall aesthetics of the buildings.
Although the main structure of Haussmannian buildings is made of stone, wood also played a crucial role in their construction. It was used for doors, windows, parquet floors, and interior moldings. The quality wood used at the time has stood the test of time, bringing warmth and elegance to the interiors of these prestigious residences.
Marble was often used in the entrance halls and common areas of Haussmannian buildings. This noble and sumptuous material added a touch of grandeur and refinement to the residents' and visitors' reception. Magnificent marble columns and marble tile floors were frequently present in these spaces.
Zinc was adopted for the roofs of Haussmannian buildings due to its durability and malleability. Zinc roofs often featured elegantly crafted dormer windows and chimneys, giving the entire construction a majestic appearance.
Haussmannian buildings are true symbols of French architecture and history. The materials used in their construction, such as cut stone, wrought iron, wood, marble, and zinc, have all played a crucial role in their success over the decades. These noble and timeless materials continue to impress and inspire architecture enthusiasts worldwide, evoking the elegance and refinement of a bygone era.