Blondel, François(fräNswä` blôNdĕl`), 1617–86, French architect. In 1672 he became director of the Academy of Architecture. Blondel's writings, which exerted great influence, include Cours d'architecture enseigné dans l'Académie royale d'architecture (2 vol., 1675–83) and Nouvelle Manière de fortifier les places (1684). He advocated a strict adherence to a classical and rationalist doctrine of architecture. His nephew, Jacques François Blondel, 1705–74, opened the first French private school of architecture in 1739. As architect to the king he devised plans for the civic beautification of Metz and Strasbourg. He designed the town hall and Place d'Armes at Strasbourg and the west portal of the cathedral at Metz. His published works include L'Architecture française (1752), valuable for its engraved views of buildings that no longer exist, and Cours d'architecture; ou, Traité de la décoration (6 vol., 1771–77).
Born July 15, 1618, in Ribemont, Picardy; died Jan. 21,1686, in Paris. French architect; exponent of classicism.
Beginning in 1671, Blondel was director of the Royal Academy of Architecture. He planned cities and fortifications and built the Porte Saint-Denis in Paris (1672) in the style of an ancient Roman triumphal arch. In the book The Course of Architecture (1675–83) he claimed that the architectural forms of antiquity and the Renaissance were “eternal true laws” that must remain unchanged. Blondel tried to find an absolute numerical expression for these architectural forms.