LE PAUTRE, Antoine
(b. 1621, Paris, d. 1679, Paris)
Hôtel de Beauvais, Paris
The reputation of Antoine Le Pautre rests on the Hôtel de Beauvais, erected between 1657 and 1660, on the rue Saint-Antoine, which survives today, though in sad condition. This house is the most ingenious of all the solutions found by French architects for the problems presented by difficult and irregular sites. In this case Mme de Beauvais had bought two plots on the rue Saint-Antoine and a third on the rue de Jouy. Though contiguous, the three sites formed together an area with re-entrant angles and with no side parallel to any other side. Le Pautre's plans can be seen for the ground floor and the first floor. If we compare the plan of the first floor with the disposition of the space below we shall see the proofs of Le Pautre's boldness. In the main corps-de-logis the rooms correspond very roughly to those below them, but in the rest of the plan they go their own way without consideration for what is underneath.
On the exterior strict symmetry is created using false walls and windows. The façade uses vertical bands of rusticated stone and horizontal moldings instead of orders to define major lines.
The photo shows the façade on the rue François-Miron (until 1865 rue Francois-Miron formed part of the historic rue Saint-Antoine).