chapter  8
15 Pages

The architecture of urban life: 67 rue des Meuniers

WithDiana Periton

In a quiet neighbourhood of eastern Paris, in the cleft of a valley where the rue des Meuniers (Mill Road) meets the rue de la Brèche aux Loups (‘Escape Route of the Wolves’) is a solid, calmly assertive building of yellow-grey brick (Figure 8.1). The rhythm of the windows, the near equality of its eight storeys, its single door and the disciplined exuberance of its brickwork serve together to mark it out as a housing block designed to give dignity to occupants of moderate means. Carved stone plaques on either side of the door indicate that it was built in 1911, and that the architect was Jacques Bonnier (Figure 8.2). But the Bonnier archives make clear that Jacques’ father, Louis, was in fact largely responsible; the aim of the attribution was to launch Jacques’ architectural career, through a building whose developer-client was another family member, Louis Bonnier’s cousin Jules Cuisinier.1