Le Havre, World Heritage Site

Auguste Perret  and his team's first visit in1947.

Members of the Perret Studio

The reconstructed city centre in Le Havre synthethizes the architectural precepts set up by Auguste Perret in the early years of the twentieth century. They all belong to the Structural Classicism theory, the new architectural order of reinforced concrete.

It also shows concretely the team work within the Perret Studio, a group of former pupils and disciples of Perret, joining his four assistants: Paul Branche, Pierre-Edouard Lambert, André Le Donné et Jacques Poirrier.

The eighteen members of the Studio ensured the continuation of their master’s ideals when finalizing his very last projects: Saint Joseph’s Church (Auguste Perret, Raymond Audigier, Georges Brochard and Jacques Poirrier) and the Town Hall (Auguste Perret, Jacques Tournant) and realizing different architectural projects which closely followed the tenets of Structural classicism.

The following buildings help identify these genetic features:

- The southern Sea Front appartment blocks, the Place Jenner ones.

- The Collège Raoul Dufy, by Pierre-Edouard Lambert (secondary school)

- The I.S.A.I. (Buildings Without Individual Attribution)

- The Porte-Océane

- The building which first housed the Hôtel Normandy by Jacques Poirrier     (now a bookshop).

Respect of the structural module and templates, the systematic use of reinforced concrete, of the “post-beam-in-filling panels” construction mode, and of prefabrication instilled coherence to the architectural project; all the more since the various head-architects followed those principles even though they did not always belong to the Perret Studio.

 

Members of the Perret Studio were:

  • Raymond Audigier (1907-1987): graduate from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. During the 1960’s, he worked with the H.L.M. (Social Housing Department) in Le Havre.
  • Georges Brochard (1887-1969): studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs. Considered as a mainstay of the Perret Studio. Designed a few villas near Raincy, in private practice.
  • André Hermant (1908-1978): graduate from the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture. One of Perret’s strong supporters. At the origin of the “Formes Utiles” movement, first French Design group. Refurbished several museums (Nice, Saint-Germain-en-Laye).
  • Guy Lagneau (1915-1997): Graduate from ENSBA. Disciple of Perret. Co-founder of the LWD Workshop. Design Building schemes in Africa and Evry (together with Jean Prouvé).
  • Pierre-Edouard Lambert (1901-1985): Graduate from ENSBA. Strongest follower of the Perret tenets. Specialised in the architecture of sports halls.
  • André Le Donné (1902-1983): Graduate from ENSBA. Co-founder of the Atelier du Bois taught by Perret. Was a very active architect of the reconstruction of Le Havre. Later specialised in places of worship.