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Hector Guimard

AD Classics: Paris Métro Entrance / Hector Guimard

04:00 - 10 August, 2017
A typical station entrance in the Paris Métro. ImageVia <a href=“https://pixabay.com/”>Pixabay</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en“>CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)</a>
A typical station entrance in the Paris Métro. ImageVia Pixabay licensed under CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)

Scattered throughout the streets of Paris, the elegant Art Nouveau entrances to the Métropolitain (Métro) subway system stand as a collective monument to the city’s Belle Époque of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. With their sinuous ironwork patterned after stylized plants, the Métro entrances now count among the most celebrated architectural emblems of the city; however, due to the city’s wariness in the face of industrialization and architect Hector Guimard’s decision to utilize a then-novel architectural aesthetic, it would take decades before the entrances would earn the illustrious reputation that they now enjoy.

During the first construction phases, tracks were dug just below street level. Via <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paris_Metro_construction_03300288-3.jpg”>National Library of France</a> licensed under Public Domain. Image Courtesy of National Library of France Replica Métro Station entrance in Chicago, USA © <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2012-07-21_7000x4912_chicago_art_nouveau_metra.jpg”>Wikimedia Commons user J. Crocker</a> (2012) licensed under Public Domain. Image Courtesy of J. Crocker Place du Bastille (Carte postale ancienne éditée par les Magasins Réunis). © <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Magasins_R%C3%A9unis_171_-_PARIS_-_Station_du_M%C3%A9tropolitain_-_Place_de_la_Bastille.JPG”>Claude_Villetaneuse</a> (1908) licensed under Public Domain. Image Courtesy of Claude Villetaneuse Place du Bastille (Carte postale ancienne éditée par les Magasins Réunis). © <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Magasins_R%C3%A9unis_171_-_PARIS_-_Station_du_M%C3%A9tropolitain_-_Place_de_la_Bastille.JPG”>Claude_Villetaneuse</a> (1908) licensed under Public Domain. Image Courtesy of Claude Villetaneuse + 10