Beaux-Arts Classicism

Beaux-Arts Classicism

(1890–1920)
Grandiose compositions with exuberant ornamental detail and a variety of stone finishes characterize this style Classical colossal columns were grouped in pairs on projecting facades with enriched molding and free-standing statuary; pronounced cornices and enriched entablatures are topped with a tall parapet, balustrade, or attic story. It fostered an era of academic revivals, principally public buildings featuring monumental flights of steps.
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In a way, it resembles the revolutionary utopia of the Centre Pompidou, designed by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini--a palace for the people, free from the strictures of Beaux-Arts Classicism. But at the Palais de Tokyo, this is expressed through an architectural dystopianism that speaks as much of the graffitied and decaying banlieues as it does of the language of post-industrial appropriation.
Neo-Gothic, neo-Tudor, Beaux-Arts classicism, Art Nouveau: All had their brief moment before modernism crystallized (at least in the minds of the architectural establishment) as an "appropriate" aesthetic.
Up through the 1940s this was mostly a version of Classicism: Edwardian Baroque, Beaux-Arts Classicism, monumental stripped Classicism, or the fundamental Classicism of Gunnar Asplund.
By the time the building was finally completed in 1909 (after a second stage of construction), it was considered old-fashioned, as the taste had switched to a Beaux-Arts classicism that revered the regular and the expected.
He rightly points out that the rise of a Beaux-Arts classicism was not the only factor in Sullivan's decline, contrary to what Sullivan himself often claimed.