René Binet – Esquisses Décoratives & the Protozoic Façade of Porte Monumentale

La Porte Monumentale  - René BinetLa Porte Monumentale – René Binet

René Binet’s Esquisses Décoratives contains a sequence of architectural designs based on the biological and morphological illustrations found in Ernst Haeckel’s well-known ‘Art Forms in Nature’. Envisioning tiny shell-like skeletons as monumental architectural structures, Binet [1866–1911] scaled Haeckel’s microscopic biomineral creatures into decorative amoeboid façades, protozoic trellises and Art Nouveau designs sprawling with heliozoic motifs.

A PDF of René Binet’s complete Esquisses Decoratives can be found here.

 Esquisses Décoratives  - René Binet Esquisses Décoratives – René Binet

 Esquisses Décoratives  - René Binet Esquisses Décoratives – René Binet

 Esquisses Décoratives  - René Binet Esquisses Décoratives – René Binet

 Esquisses Décoratives  - René Binet Esquisses Décoratives – René Binet

 Esquisses Décoratives  - René Binet Esquisses Décoratives – René Binet

Binet’s study of Haeckel’s lithographs of radiolaria culminated in the design for his Monumental Gate, located on the Place de la Concorde, at the Eastern entrance of the Exposition Universelle (World Faire) held in Paris in 1900. Gustave Geffroy notes in his introductory foreword to Esquisses Décoratives that Binet’s main inspiration for ‘Porte Monumentale’ were a family of radiolaria known as Cyrtoidea. The design was heavily based on one radiolaria illustration alone – the Cyrtoidea Pterocanium trilobum.

La Porte Monumentale  - René BinetLa Porte Monumentale – René Binet

Cyrtoidea – Ernst HaeckelCyrtoidea – Ernst Haeckel with Clathrocanium reginae [top row, second left] and Cyrtoidea Pterocanium trilobum [middle row, far right]

La Porte Monumentale  - René BinetLa Porte Monumentale – René Binet

According to Geffroy ‘Binet viewed the Clathrocanium reginae as the most beautiful and a perfect representation of the richness and logic of the Radiolaria family’ In doing so Binet becomes a solid precursor to current trends in parametric architectural design dealing with the explicit rendering of natural forms and structures.

2 Responses to “René Binet – Esquisses Décoratives & the Protozoic Façade of Porte Monumentale”

  1. subblue writes:

    Excellent find!

  2. Ernst Haeckel writes:

    […] [middle row, far right] The last example has an amazing story behind it. This quote from the blog I found it […]

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