Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève

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Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève
"One of the greatest cultural buildings of the nineteenth century to use iron in a prominent, visible way was unquestionably the Bibliotheque Ste.-Genevieve in Paris, designed by Henri Labrouste and built in 1842-50. The large (278 by 69 feet) two-storied structure filling a wide, shallow site is deceptively simple in scheme: the lower floor is occupied by stacks to the left, rare-book storage and office space to the right, with a central vestibule and stairway leading to the reading room which fills the entire upper story. The ferrous structure of this reading room - a spine of slender, cast-iron Ionic columns dividing the space into twin aisles and supporting openwork iron arches that carry barrel vaults of plaster reinforced by iron mesh - has always been revered by Modernists for its introduction of high technology into a monumental building."
- Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p478.

The names of 810 illustrious scholars are inscribed on the library facade.


20 photos and 4 drawings

Building Activity

  • proxima
    proxima updated 4 media
    about 6 years ago via
  • updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
  • proxima
    proxima updated a media
    about 7 years ago via iPhone