Writer: Iris Moon

Hide-and-Seek

Hide-and-Seek

By Iris Moon

The square and compass have long been architecture’s symbols of the trade, but practitioners sometimes used scissors to shape space. French architect Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine made this cut-out paper model of an interior in or before 1804, the year in which his famous client, Napoleon, became emperor. It represents a simply… Read More

Dance Dance Revolution

Dance Dance Revolution

By Iris Moon

In 1788, the art theorist and critic Quatremère de Quincy devoted a long entry of the Encyclopédie méthodique to the arabesque, ‘forms of ornament that are often the most capricious, fantastical, and imaginary, whether in sculpture or painting, that architecture employs in the decoration of walls, panels, door-frames, pilasters, friezes, and sometimes even… Read More

Archives, or Ardor

Archives, or Ardor

By Iris Moon

Butter, fire, ardor: Roberto Calasso tells us that Vedic India is one of the earliest civilisations and one about which the least is known, having left nothing behind but a few fragments of enigmatic texts about worship and sacrifice. No buildings, no palaces, no traces of temples. Just the simple instructions… Read More

Charles Percier

Charles Percier

By Iris Moon

A Clean Mess Cleanliness is a trait shared by many architects and Charles Percier was no exception. The charming anecdote is told of Percier, the son of a laundrywoman, going to great lengths to keep his sheets of drawing paper safe from the ubiquitous ash of his pipe. The architect… Read More