Calling all architects!
August 18, 2011 1:19 PM   Subscribe

In what architectural style was the Grand Palais in Paris designed/built?

I know there isn't a straightforward answer to this question, but I'm hoping someone with more of an architecture background can help me make sense of this building. I have seen the Grand Palais described as "a juxtaposition of Classical and Art Nouveau" architecture, but I have also seen it described as Beaux Arts architecture. I know there were four different architects assigned to design different parts of the building (and at least Henri Deglane was trained at the Ecole des beaux-arts), so it's a bit of a chimera for that reason alone. What aspects of the building are Classical? What aspects are Art Nouveau and what are Beaux Arts? If, hypothetically, I were referring to the Grand Palais in print and I wanted to name the style(s) in which it was designed and built, what would I say?

Bonus question: If an author says the Grand Palais is "the largest building of its kind in the world." exactly what kind of building is the Grand Palais?
posted by Felicity Rilke to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:26 PM on August 18, 2011

Not to thread-sit, but what makes it Beaux-Arts over an Art Nouveau/Classical mash-up (as it is described on the official site for the Grand Palais, though without detail).
posted by Felicity Rilke at 1:30 PM on August 18, 2011

The overall impression is Neoclassical with embellishments reflecting the trends of the day. That's pretty much definitively Beaux-Arts.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:47 PM on August 18, 2011

The interior, particularly the treatment of the iron columns, reflects the contemporary Art Nouveau style, while the exterior is more sedate and traditional. It's kind of the architectural equivalent of business in the front, party in the back.
posted by Scram at 1:50 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

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