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Modernité et architecture scolaire (1870-1940) : Origines et histoire des groupes scolaires construits dans la banlieue parisienne durant les années 1930

Romain Iliou 1, 2 
1 AHTTEP - Architecture, histoire, technique, territoire, patrimoine
UMR AUSser - Architecture Urbanisme Société : Savoir Enseignement Recherche
Abstract : Today, at the dawn of the upcoming realization of the Grand Paris, which desires to make the capital of France a major metropolis of the 21st century, the Paris, which people may think, about is still this great metropolis of the 19th century, contained first inside the walls and today inside the ring road so called "Boulevard périphérique". For a century, the suburbs spread and developed, urbanized and build themselves, providing a heritage, yet hardly recognized and now in danger. This constitutes the essential witness of what makes Paris a metropolis of the 20th century, even if the city did not extend administratively. From that point of view, several attempts have occurred especially during the interwar period, in which the Seine "département" and the suburban towns that composed it played a key role. The increase of the population corresponded also locally with a great effort in terms of public facilities. Among these, primary schools played a major character, especially those built in the 1930s. These schools, some of which were then for a long time considered as examples and remain today prominent inside the history of French modern architecture, were erected inside an architectural tradition inherited from the 19th century and heavily regulated. They nevertheless embody the first attempts to get out of a dogma - then driven by his own understanding of modernity - while retaining its essence. Indeed, a link is emerging between the different periods regarding school architecture, once manifested the desire to extend the instruction and education to the entire population: ensure good hygiene and a work area corresponding to the functional necessities of teaching methods, with the systematic use of materials and the latest technology, being regularly updated. However, the specific context of the interwar indicates that regarding school buildings, the intrusion of "purists" or "art-deco" formulas was not obvious. Socialist and communist mayors of the Parisian suburbs led this renewal that succeed in placing themselves at the head of the vanguard of elementary public school architecture, creating the conditions to materialize the encounter between modernity and new teaching practices, with quality results praised by critics, academic community, users and hygienists. Yet it was not easy for architects to move in a particularly restrictive and out-of-date regulatory environment, which sometimes can make these schools appear as "post Jules Ferry" models, adopting architectural contemporary modernity only as an aesthetic value and not conceptual. If modernity has been the key driver of the design of school architecture in the nineteenth century, it remains so during this period. The political and ideological struggles led on the ground by local officials definitely allowed the school design to know a revival, facing at first violent criticism from conservative circles, both political and artistic, before to establish itself as a model seeking to extend over the whole territory. These buildings are suffering for the majority of them from the lack of an illustrious paternity. Yet the study of career paths and evolution of architectural language of the author illustrates the particular situation of French architecture at the time, where we are witnessing a redefinition of teaching Fine Arts, the growing influence of CIAM but also the defense of national architectural characteristics. These schools are located within the relatively heterogeneous urban context of the suburbs which they crossed history. Their general perception today does not do them justice. They are hardly identified as revolutionary buildings, or at least intended to be so. Especially since many elements were modernized, substituted and replaced. This research in Preservation of Architectural Heritage, for the issues raised in terms of historiography, intends to participate in the valorization of a suburban architectural school heritage, participating in both the history of the Paris of the 20th century and in the constitution of a heritage shared by the one of the 21st century.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 6:35:53 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:54:00 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, September 23, 2021 - 7:19:09 PM


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Romain Iliou. Modernité et architecture scolaire (1870-1940) : Origines et histoire des groupes scolaires construits dans la banlieue parisienne durant les années 1930. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Politecnico di Milano, 2017. Français. ⟨tel-03267985⟩



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