In reconstructing the origins of the modern cityâand the modern sense of privacyâDennis focuses on the plan of the hÃ´tel and on the relationship between the external and internal organization of buildings. He identifies three distinct hÃ´tel typesâBaroque, Roccoco, and Neoclassicalâand examines the urban and social changes reflected in their sitings and facades and in such details as the sequence of public and private rooms, patterns of circulation, and the proliferation of rooms with special functions.
By studying the plans, Dennis asserts, modern architects can recapture the language of urbanism and learn how to reconcile modern and traditional modes of building organization and spatial development. The extensive documentation he providesânearly 400 illustrations, including historical maps of Paris, hÃ´tel plans, and photographs of extant hÃ´telsâencourages that study and significantly extends the tradition of illustrated architectural treatises by Marot (c. 1670), Blondell (1752-1756) and Krafft (c. 1802), establishing this book as the definitive scholarly work on the French hÃ´tel.
A Graham Foundation Book.
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