Claude-Nicolas Ledoux

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ledoux, Claude-Nicolas


Born in 1736 in Dormans, Champagne; died Nov. 19, 1806, in Paris. French architect.

In his buildings, Ledoux juxtaposed the elegance of French classicism with forms marked by ascetic stereometry, thus paving the way for the Empire style. Among his works is the theater in Besançon (Franche-Comté, 1778–80). He also designed a series of 80 city gates, known as the “propylaea of Paris” (1784—89); of the six gates that were actually constructed, four have been preserved. In his design of the city of Chaux near the saltworks (Franche-Comté, from 1771, partially carried out), Ledoux developed the Renaissance ideas of an ideal city. He was the first to conceive of a single complex comprising residential, industrial, and administrative buildings. As an advocate of expressiveness in architecture, who sought to reveal the symbolic character of the most simple geometric forms, Ledoux strove to embody in some of his designs, which reflected social utopianism, the ideals of the Great French Revolution.


L ‘Architecture considérée sous le rapport de l’art, des moeurs et de la législation, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1804–47.


Arkin, D. E. “Gabriel’ i Ledu.” Akademiia arkhitektury, 1935, no. 4.
Grabar’, I. E. “Rannii aleksandrovskii klassitsizm i ego frantsuzskie istochniki.” In the collection of his works O russkoi arkhitekture. Moscow, 1969. Pages 284–309.
Kauffmann, E. Architecture in the Age of Reason. Cambridge, (Mass.), 1955.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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His project viewed the original log cabins as a model of utopian architecture that existed prior to the more familiar 18th-century projects of Etienne-Louis Boullee and Claude Nicolas Ledoux in Europe.