Claude-Nicolas Ledoux

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is this maximalist horror vacui that separates Lequeu from the stark classicism of those other Utopian French architects Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and Etienne-Louis Boullee, with whom he is sometimes grouped.
In fact the pictures portray a rest stop along the A3 9 motorway in eastern France, designed after sketches by the eighteenth-century neoclassical proto-modernist architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Far from serving their original function in Ledoux's Enlightenment-era Cite ideale, this complex of buildings--erected long after the architect's death--operates instead as a boosterish civic monument and a touristic diversion: mildly entertaining, weirdly alienating, a place to buy a snack.
Famous men put their minds to prototype designs; Karl Friedrich Schinkel (Insterburg 1838), John Soane (women's and men's prisons 1781), Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (Aix-en-Provence 1785), Robert and James Adam (Bridewell 1795), even Thomas Jefferson tried his hand (Richmond, Virginia, 1797).
Claude-Nicolas Ledoux; architecture and utopia in the era of the French Revolution.
However the buildings have been restored almost to original condition, their grandeur telling us a great deal about the value of salt before the age of refrigeration, and as a tribute to architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux it is well worth a look.
In his 1770s heyday, when he had a Right Bank workshop on the Seine near Notre-Dame, Gouthiere collaborated with prominent architects such as Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and Francois-Joseph Belanger.
Along with painting, these include the history of utopian projects, such as those undertaken by visionary intellectuals and architects, among them Claude-Nicolas Ledoux in eighteenth-century France and Konstantin Melnikov in twentieth-century Russia, with which Kiaer has long been fascinated.
Nikolaus Pevsner described Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736-1806) as the boldest and most extreme French Revolutionary architect.
In tracing the creative influence of Palladio, and of classicism in general, on 20th-century modernism, one big trick seems to me to have been missed--and one big name: that of the French 'revolutionary' architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. The classical severity of Ledoux's work, in conspicuous reaction to the excesses of the rococo, can be traced to his knowledge of English Palladian buildings.
From Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and Etienne-Louis Boullee at the time of the French Revolution to Le Corbusier, the ambassador of modernity, architecture has concerned itself with creating spaces for a better, brighter tomorrow.
The main image on the home page is Claude-Nicolas Ledoux's Royal Saltworks.
This fascinating building is sometimes categorised as an example of architecture parlante, deriving from the ideal city of Chaux designed by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (where, for example, one building was to have a ground-plan in the shape of male genitalia).