Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Étienne-Louis Boullée

Étienne-Louis Boullée (February 12, 1728 - February 6, 1799) was a French architect, born in Paris.

His designs emphasize simple, symmetrical geometric shapes. Boullée's refined designs often were inspired by antiquity, for example, his Château de Chaville, 1764 built for Tessé family, and Hôtel de Brunoy, 1774 (since demolished).

As an architectural academician, he taught at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (school of bridges and causeways) and the Académie Royale d'Architecture.

His book Architecture, essai sur l'art (essay on the art of architecture) written in the last decade of his life was not published until 1953. It contained his work from 1778 to 1788, mostly public buildings on a scale so grand, that some critics have characterized him as a megalomaniac. For instance, his imaginary cenotaph (empty tomb) in honor of Isaac Newton 1784. His focus on polarity (offsetting opposite design elements) and the use of light and shadow mark him as a visionary theoretician.


External links