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Hermant, Jacques (1855–1930). French architect, the son of Pierre-Antoine-Achille Hermant (1823–1903), who designed the Reformatory in Nanterre (1874–81), which became a model for late-C19 French penal establishments. Jacques was an uninhibited eclecticist, and won fame with his French pavilions at the World's Columbian exposition, Chicago, IL (1893), and the Exposition Internationale, Brussels (1897). Although he used the Louis Seize style for his Salle Gaveau concert-hall, the building was remarkable for its reinforced concrete construction (the first in Paris), designed with Edmond Coignet. With Coignet he also designed Le Magasin des Classes Laborieuses, Rue St-Martin, Paris (1898). He was responsible for the Société Générale office, Boulevard Haussmann, Paris, tucked in behind three existing façades: with its central banking-hall (under a glazed roof) surrounded by offices and its sumptuous Art-Nouveau decorations, it was a remarkable ensemble. It is curious his name is not better known.
Jane Turner (1996)
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