Irene Brancasi

The urban representation and the city plan in late Eighteenth-Century culture, from Paristo Washington

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Keywords: Architectural Theory; Visionary Architecture; Pierre-Charles L'Enfant; Thomas Jefferson; Washington D.C.

This essay focuses on the representation of the city at the end of the "Ancien Régime" together with the cultural contact linking the French urban conception with the North American one. It is indeed possible to recognize a line connecting the two architectural approaches, concerning the stylistic language but also implying a renewed notion of architecture as political and social art. In particular, the theories of Thomas Jefferson and Pierre-Charles L'Enfant, both of them close to the Paris background and involved in the Washington D.C. foundation, will be observed as a considerable case of architectural thought, whose purpose is the plan of a functional city, designed in order to stand for the new nation.

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