LE VAU, Louis
(b. 1612, Paris, d. 1670, Paris)

Exterior view

Hôtel Lambert, Paris

One of the most significant of the city palaces in the first half of the seventeenth century in Paris is the Hôtel Lambert on the Île St-Louis. Le Vau used a completely new layout here which reflected the narrowness of the site: instead of siting the garden along the portal-courtyard-accommodation axis, he moved it to the right, close to the 'cour-d'honneur'. The latter, with cut-off corners, opens onto a monumental staircase which, flanked by oval hallways, leads into the gallery which is laid out sideways and is interposed between the garden and open ground.

The decoration of the façade combines French elegance and monumental Roman features. Doric orders superimposed on Ionic are used on the courtyard façade and a continuous entablature runs right across the wings. The dominant motif is provided by the stepped entrance with its pediment and free-standing Doric columns at ground-floor level.

The picture shows the courtyard façade.

View the ground plan of the Hôtel Lambert, Paris.

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