GABRIEL, Ange-Jacques
(b. 1698, Paris, d. 1782, Paris)

General view

begun 1755
Place de la Concorde, Paris

One of the most grandiloquent urban planning projects of Paris, Gabriel's design for the Place Louis Quinze, now the Place de la Concorde, dated back to the middle of the century, but it was not until the 1770s that it was carried out. In the centre of the place stood Bouchardon's equestrian statue of the king Louis XV (later destroyed in the Revolution). The large rectangle enclosed by water channels is overlooked only by two symmetrical buildings on the narrow northerly side opposite the Seine. These two buildings were here solely for aesthetic planning reasons and were allocated functions post hoc. Their articulation by means of corner pavilions and the absence of a central feature are attuned to the open centre axis of the square, the termination of which was to marked by the dome of the Madeleine church.