Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Life

MoMA's upcoming exhibition Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light celebrates the impact of this 19th century architect on space, materials, luminosity and on great places of assembly. The exhibition will run from March 10th to June 24th, 2013 and will be the first solo exhibition of Labrouste's work in the United States.

Henri Labrouste (French, 1801-1875). Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, 1838-1850. Steel trusses of the reading room. Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève. Photograph: Priscille Leroy.

Labrouste's architecture pushed the capabilities of materials and building technologies.  The sublime reading rooms of the two Parisian libraries, the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève (1838–50) and the Bibliothèque nationale (1859–75) evoke a drama created by exposed metal frameworks, thin masonry walls, and stunning luminosity.  

Henri Labrouste (French, 1801-1875). Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, 1838-1850. View of the reading room. Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève. Photograph: Michel Nguyen.

The exhibit will feature over 200 works from watercolors and original drawings to photographs, flims and architectural models and will be divided into three sections that will trace different developments in Labrouste's career.  Part one will cover 1818-1938, tracing Labrouste's philosophy of architecture and practice in ancient Rome and modern Paris.  He developed notions on architecture as being an accumulation of histories that followed the evolution of society.  This portion of the exhibit also looks into the way in which Labrouste looked at public ceremonies.

Henri Labrouste (French, 1801-1875). Imaginary reconstruction of an ancient city. Perspective view. Date unknown. Graphite, pen, ink and watercolor on paper. Académie d’Architecture, Paris

The second section of the exhibit covers the principal works of architecture in his career through drawings, analytical models, and photographs.  The final section will examine the legacy of Labrouste's career, featuring works of an array of architects such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Pier Luigi Nervi. 

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Cite: "Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Life" 03 Feb 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/317195/henri-labrouste-structure-brought-to-life> ISSN 0719-8884

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