(active 1702, d. 1741, Paris)


French architect and designer. The son of a master carpenter employed by the Service des Bâtiments du Roi at various French royal residences, from 1702 to 1708 Aubert worked as a draughtsman under Jules Hardouin-Mansart. He became the favourite architect of the princely Bourbon-Condé family with the remodeling of the château of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés (1709-10), near Paris. For Louis-Henri de Bourbon, Prince de Condé (1692-1740), the grandson of Louis XIV, Aubert carried out several projects at the château of Chantilly (Oise). The magnificent stables (designed 1719, built 1721-35; show the influence of Hardouin-Mansart in Aubert's extensive use of arcades, the discreet presence of the classical orders, and the rich sculptural decoration, all elements drawn from the Grandes et Petites Ecuries of the Palace of Versailles. Aubert's most distinctive stylistic trait, emphatic horizontal channeling of rusticated wall surfaces, made its first appearance on the one-storey elevation of the stable wing facing the meadow.

By 1722 Louise-Françoise, dowager Duchesse de Bourbon, daughter of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, had engaged the services of several architects for the plan of the Palais Bourbon, Paris, including Robert de Cotte, Giovanni Giardini (d 1722) and Pierre Lassurance I, although the design was executed principally by Aubert (1724-26; rebuilt from 1795). He ingeniously divided the ground-floor into two parts, with the right wing housing the large formal rooms of the appartement de parade and the left sheltering the more intimate appartements de commodité. A similar situation prevailed at the neighbouring Hôtel de Lassay (1724-26; extensively modified 1845-48). Lassurance I drew up the initial design but Aubert was responsible for the definitive plan and the one-storey elevations, again featuring horizontal channeling. Jacques Gabriel V (1667-1742) assisted in an advisory capacity.

From 1728 to 1730 Aubert built the Hôtel Peyrenc de Moras, one of the great Parisian houses of the 18th century, for the wealthy Abraham Peyrenc de Moras, chief adviser to the Duchess of Bourbon. The service wings bordering the forecourt are independent from the free-standing block of the corps-de-logis, so that the building resembles a suburban villa (maison de plaisance). The extreme simplicity of the astylar court elevation reflects the style of de Cotte, while the curved end pavilions of the garden façade, with their striated channeling, derive from château architecture by way of the town houses of Germain Boffrand. The building was purchased in 1753 by the duke of Biron, it now houses the Musée Rodin.

Aubert was also active as an interior designer. He maintained a symmetrical disposition and geometric subdivision characteristic of earlier wooden paneling, but his use of abundant curvilinear elements, such as arched door frames and mirrors, floral swags and lacy fields of netlike mosaic, was Rococo in style.

In 1736, towards the end of his career, he designed the Cistercian abbey of Chaâlis (Oise) for Louis de Bourbon-Condé, Comte de Clermont, who was commendatory abbot of the foundation. However, only half of the intended four-wing structure surrounding a cloister was completed.