What is Haussmann architecture?
Haussmann’s architecture emerged under Napoleon III’s second empire, when he decided to transform Paris as a result of demographic growth, which consequently influenced traffic and overcrowding in the city.
All this led to the need to modernise the capital and Napoleon chose Baron Haussmann to conduct an urban restructuring plan. All the buildings in this plan resulted in the creation of the Haussmann style, characterised by blocks of buildings connected by symmetrical outdoor areas, as the main purpose was to unify and give cohesion to the image of Paris.
Today, these buildings represent 60% of Parisian buildings. Although its style is inspired by other European cities, it retains its distinctive charm and is blessed with exceptional architectural beauty.
Outstanding features of Haussmann’s architecture
The Haussmann style is distinguished by a number of different aspects. The exterior of the building is one of its most remarkable visual features. Built in stone, it conjures up a coherent architectural line: the lines are all similar and of identical height, not exceeding 6 storeys. On the 2nd and 5th floors the balcony adds a very interesting linear look.
- The ground and mezzanine floors are intended for shops only.
- The second floor has the highest ceilings in the building, as well as a balcony and distinctive frames. This floor was intended for the higher class families, namely the nobility.
- The third and fourth floors were the most conventional, especially when lifts began to appear, these spaces became the most sought after.
- The fifth floor always has a long balcony. The interior finishings are more understated, but the splendorous view over the roofs makes this the most coveted floor nowadays.
- The top floor, which used to serve as an attic and a space for domestic servants, has now been transformed into a bohemian-chic style that has attracted many admirers.
Haussmann architecture stands out with its refined interiors, filled with noble materials and decorations, where the floors are hardwood floors based on a spine pattern, as well as terracotta tiles. Prussian or marble fireplaces are an integral part of this style.
The Hassmann flats are distinguished by their large halls at the entrance, leading to the bedrooms. The main rooms are spacious and boast large windows that radiate incredible light, including beautiful interior woodwork (bookcases, wardrobes, shelves…)
The timeless appeal it gives to the city of Paris reflects the success of this style that has carried over between centuries.
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