Choisy, Auguste

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Choisy, Auguste (1841–1904). French archaeologist, architectural historian, and engineer. He was Chief Engineer of the Département des Ponts et Chaussées for several years, but his reputation rests on his considerable published output. His thinking was influenced by the work of Viollet-le-Duc, and his own analyses of form and structure—not the results of chance or taste but representative of the essence of society—were attractive to later architects such as Le Corbusier and Perret. His beautifully illustrated Histoire de l'Architecture (1899) described the evolution of construction, and it was that which appealed to the following generation: the book contained a précis of Viollet-le-Duc's and other architectural theories by boiling them down to neat phrases and diagrams. His arguments supported utilitarian views of architecture as developing from practicalities and analytical investigations best seen in the work of engineers. Effectively, he reduced architecture to structure, and claimed that this was more true of society at a given time than any style or art.


Choisy (1873, 1883, 1883a, 1899, 1904, 1910);
Pouillon (1994)