Monday, February 24, 2020

Architectural collection at the Palais de Chaillot, Trocadero, Paris.

One of the great tourist attractions in Paris lies in Trocadero, the Palais de Chaillot. The palace was partially rebuilt and remodeled in 1937 for the Exposition Internationale in a classical moderne style we would call Art Deco. However, tourists aren't there for the building itself but generally for the best view in town of the Eiffel Tower just across the river.
While tourists jockeyed for selfies in front of the tower I was admiring the crisp neoclassical details and these fantastic gilded statues gracing the courtyard.
8 gilded statues above fountains showing the 'rights of man' flank this terrace. I didn't come just for the Eiffel Tower views though but rather to see an amazing exhibit in the Paris Architectural Museum housed in Chaillot.
I'm not sure how in all of my travels to Paris I had never visited this museum (which was completely deserted, btw) but am so glad I can now add it to my Parisian repertoire.
The exhibit I'm speaking of is the "Masterworks of Architectural Drawing from the Albertina Museum" - a who's who of design history and quite the collection on view in Paris only until March 16, 2020.
Get up close and personal with these incredible drawings such as this rendering of the Hofburg in Vienna.
This stock exchange above for St Petersburg was designed by Giacomo Quarenghi in 1783 but never finished due to funding.
On the modern spectrum of the collection is the model by architect Adolf Loos in 1927 for Josephine Baker's unbuilt townhouse in Paris. 
Loos was a fan of Bakers and designed the townhouse gratis which may explain why it was never built!
Above is only a detail shot of an amazingly detailed painting from 1793 of the Augustus Bridge in Dresden by Johann Gottfried Klinsky. His accurate depiction of Dresden beyond the bridge is pretty amazing;  Compare the Frauenkirche with photos from a post I wrote in 2010 HERE.
I can never get enough of floorplans, even landscape plans. This plan of the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens date to 1736 by both Dominique and Philipp Girard. 
Trained at Versailles, Dominique was a landscape architect who specialized in water features.  Starting in 1715 he began work at Nymphenburg which was later documented by his son Philipp in this painting in 1736; one of many gardens throughout Europe which were based on Versailles.
Each structure in the garden is carefully rendered and noted to a legend.
The pavilion above is reminiscent of the French Pavilion at the Petit Trianon at Versailles. See photos of that structure from my visit in 2009 HERE.
There are numerous other landscape plans with great details such as the scene above.
This gate was designed for the Beloeil Palace in Belgian by Charles de Wailly in 1782; unfortunately never built because of the French Revolution.
Antonio Galli-Bibiena designed this baroque theatrical backdrop in 1745.
Antonio Canova's monument for the archduchess was immortalized in this drawing by Domenico del Frate in 1805. 
Clemens Holzmeister designed an over-the-top cathedral in 1942 that towered 150 meters high made of reinforced concrete that could hold 14,000 worshipers.  Notice the scale figures of people in the drawing. 
Besides this exhibit which will be closing shortly, sadly, the museum has an enormous collection of plaster architectural fragments such as this copy of an arch at the Hotel de Rohan les Chavaux du Soleil above. One could spend all day wandering around the permanent collection.
A number of plaster architectural models dot the halls as well.
If you haven't been don't delay your visit to the Cite de l'architecture & du Patrimoine at Trocadero -you won't regret it!