In Notre-Dame du Raincy and the Great War, Etien Santiago explores how the 1923 church of Notre-Dame du Raincy, designed by Auguste and Gustave Perret, resonated with other French buildings erected during or soon after World War I. Officially designated a monument to a significant battle and the soldiers who died there, the church contains only two overt commemorative symbols, both of which are relatively discreet. Yet original sources reveal that the Perrets' contemporaries saw additional allusions to the war in the building's exposed concrete and bell tower, the latter of which evoked the “lanterns of the dead” typical of contemporaneous French Great War memorials. Moreover, to build Notre-Dame du Raincy, the Perrets drew direct inspiration from utilitarian wartime constructions. Contextualizing the church amid these related structures allows us to chart some of the multiple and often contradictory ways in which French citizens and designers grappled with the war and its legacy.
Notre-Dame du Raincy and the Great War
Etien Santiago is an architectural historian, educator, and licensed architect. He is completing a dissertation at Harvard University on how the cultural and intellectual contexts of World War I shaped architects' appropriation of innovative military construction techniques and led them toward creating new forms of affordable housing. email@example.com
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Etien Santiago; Notre-Dame du Raincy and the Great War. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 December 2019; 78 (4): 454–471. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2019.78.4.454
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