The Parisian doors are a typical element of the architecture of the capital, their style was inspired mainly by Baron Haussmann.
An architectural reform
One of the secrets of the magic of Paris, in addition to the Seine and its many bridges, are the doors of buildings. Indeed, those who keep their eyes open during their walk in the capital, have undoubtedly already noticed the magnificent goldsmith work of the Parisian doors.
In 1850, the prefect Georges Eugène Haussmann organized reforms that would completely turn Paris upside down: the avenues widened, the courtyards narrowed and the architecture became unified. Haussmann creates the Grands Boulevards, builds stations and parks, completely transforming Paris so that it becomes as we know it today. However, faced with “the aesthetics of the rational” which imposes a unique architecture, Paris rebels, explores, invents, offering today a multitude of surprises, here and there, of the Art Deco style, whose forms are raw, straight and symmetrical, up to the Art Nouveau style, which favors curves, arabesques, floral motifs, colors and metal structures.
Art Nouveau and Art Deco
These magnificent doors, often from the architectural currents of art nouveau or art deco. The originality of the doors can come from the ironwork where the iron railings take on very artistic movements. But also creations in mosaics or stone sculptures that decorate the porches.
The best-known works are undoubtedly those of the architect Jules Lavirotte, an emblematic figure of Art Nouveau in France. These works are particularly observable in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, which seemed to be his playground. We can recognize his style with the many floral and plant motifs that adorn these creations.
Lavirotte Building in Paris, avenue Rapp. Copyright Elisabeth Perotin
Jules Lavirotte had made as a specialty the installation on his ceramic facades. In his early days, he placed them behind the building in the courtyard as at 151 rue de Grenelle. Then at the Hôtel Monttessuy, he places them more sparsely, as elements of the decor.
Then, in Square Rapp and its Lavirotte building, it begins to cover more space. This is how at the Ceramic Hotel, it covers the entire building, going so far as to give the building the name of the materials. Among the beautiful gates of Paris there are what are called “Portes Cochères”. These beautiful imposing doors, typical of Haussmann architecture, are generally 2.6 meters wide and 3.5 meters high. But why are they called porte-cocheres? They simply take their name from their initial use, which dates from the 19th century: allowing horse-drawn carriages and carriages to enter buildings where well-to-do residents lived who could afford the services of a coachman !