Baron Haussmann is prefect of the Seine department under the Second Empire, from 1853 to 1869. Under his action, Paris is deeply transformed. Many new roads are being drilled, water and sewer networks are being created, urban furniture has been installed, alignment trees are being planted on the new roads, parks and squares have been created in Paris, Bois de Boulogne and Vincennes are arranged. Especially the buildings are of a new type: if the flat facades and the monochrome do not derogate from the Parisian traditions, it became widespread the use of the balconies that unite each building to the urban space. The vision of Baron Haussmann and his sovereign Napoleon III, in fact, is to restructure Paris to literally make a vast urban monument. However, these innovations are not an invention of the Haussmann administration. The Haussmannian cycle begins practically from the French Revolution, and ends with the Second World War. Thus, to speak of Haussmannism is to look at one hundred and fifty years of architecture and urbanism.

This course exposes the lineaments of “Haussmannism”, its origins, its developments, its influence in other cities of France and in the world. The course approche its urban planning principles, its routes and perspectives, its technical dimension, the relationship between monuments such as Charles Garnier's opera and current architecture, the relationship between architecture and vegetation. It shows, through the analysis of certain details on the ground, the fine architectural subtleties, notably the unequaled relationship between unity and variety.


  • Pierre Pinon, Atlas du Paris haussmannien. La Ville en héritage du Second Empire à nos jours, Paris, Parigramme, 2002.
  • Michaël Darin, La Comédie urbaine. Voir la ville autrement, Gollion, In Folio, 2009.

Jean-Baptiste MINNAERT

Born in 1964, Jean-Baptiste Minnaert is professor of history of contemporary art at Paris-Sorbonne University. He is the chairman of the Association of History of Architecture (AHA). Specialized in the history of architecture and urbanism of the twentieth century, Jean-Baptiste Minnaert has published in 1991 a book about the architect Pierre Barbe (1900-2004), then his doctoral thesis about Henri Sauvage (1873-1932) ) and three books about the Parisian architect (The Architectural Drawings of Henri Sauvage, 1994 ; Henri Sauvage, l’exercice du renouvellement, 2002 ; Henri Sauvage le rationaliste, 2011). He also worked on the architecture of the suburbs of Paris Paris (Le faubourg Saint-Antoine, architecture et métiers d’art, 1998), on the satellite city of Heliopolis in Cairo, on the historiography of architecture and contemporary heritage (Histoires d’architectures en Méditerranée, XIXe-XXe siècles, 2005). He is currently working on peri-urbanization to which he devoted a colloquium and published acts (Périurbains, territoires, réseaux et temporalités, 2013) and at the same time worked on architecture in Tours in the nineteenth and twenty-first century, to which he devotes a book (Tours. Métamorphoses d’une ville, 2016).