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Jacques Perret: Visionary Architect, Practical Engineer, or Connoisseur? A study on the identity of a controversial figure of the 17th century through the projects of his fortified towns
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  • Journal title : Architectural research
  • Volume 16, Issue 4,  2014, pp.193-202
  • Publisher : Architectural Institute of Korea
  • DOI : 10.5659/AIKAR.2014.16.4.193
 Title & Authors
Jacques Perret: Visionary Architect, Practical Engineer, or Connoisseur? A study on the identity of a controversial figure of the 17th century through the projects of his fortified towns
Dacarro, Fabio;
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This research started from the premise that Jacques Perret, "Savoyard gentleman" of the 17th century - whose only legacy consists of Des fortifications et artifices, a book of fortified town designs - is still an elusive figure in the history of architecture and deserves to be further investigated. In particular, attention needs to be paid to the lack of any attempt by scholars to define his actual professional status and cultural background: was he an architect, an engineer, a professional or an amateur? The intention of this paper is therefore to shed some light on this question by examining selected contents of his book describing five projects of fortified towns. Plates and descriptions are carefully analyzed related to the engineering (defensive structures) and architectural (city layouts, buildings) content. The figure that emerges is that of an articulate personality who does not fit either in the architectural or in the military engineering professional world. In the field of engineering, he simultaneously demonstrated the competence of a professional and the navety of an immature technician, while in the field of architecture he showed an advanced creativity alongside several technical and theoretical misunderstandings. From the analysis in this study, the assumption is formulated that Jacques Perret was a connoisseur, i.e. an erudite without any direct involvement in real professional activity. This work is intended to provide a hypothesis for further researches that, hopefully, will deepen our understanding of several other aspects of Perret`s complex identity and work.
Jacques Perret;Fortifications;Artifices;Identity;Book;17th century;
 Cited by
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