• Specific Spaces: Government and the Emergence of architecture d’accompagnement, 1584–1765

Giudici, Maria Sheherazade, 2013, Book Section, Specific Spaces: Government and the Emergence of architecture d’accompagnement, 1584–1765 The City as a Project. Ruby Press. ISBN 978-3-944074-06-1

Abstract or Description:

Architecture d’accompagnement, or formulaic architecture, developed in Paris during the 1600s – a period marked by the emergence of modern government models. Accompagnement is a simplified classicism, devoid of figurative details and reduced to its most abstract form: an architecture that, for the first time, is concerned with the framing of empty (public) space rather than with the embellishment of (private) built space. With its deliberate blankness, accompagnement shifts the focus of architecture from the objects to the milieu.
Until the reign of Henri IV, streets and squares in Paris were ambiguous leftovers both in juridical and representational terms. There was no formalized public space, as the very idea of a public sphere did not make sense until a secularized concept of state, based on a social contract, emerged.
Through an analysis of the first prototype of accompagnement – the parisian places royales – the essay argues that modern public space is essentially an invention of the age of government, the result of a conscious political and architectural choice. By comparing the development of the places royales with a rereading of key political theories of sovereignty from Bodin to Hobbes and Rousseau the essay traces a genealogy of early European public space as social and cultural product.
Today, understanding the political instrumentality of public space is crucial, as it might give us insights in the roots of the conflicts that we witness in the contemporary city. Ultimately, the Paris example shows how the very idea of public space was first put forward as a tool of management – as apparatus to shape the subjectivity of the citizens through their use of space.

AuthorGiudici, Maria Sheherazade
Official URL: http://ruby-press.com/shop/the-city-as-a-project/
Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture > K110 Architectural Design Theory
School or Centre: School of Architecture
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2016 12:04
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2023 15:55
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2473
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