After suffering the from the plague and 100 years war, France experienced an Italian inspired renaissance. In the 1600s, the population of Paris increased dramatically. This increase saw a change in housing as well- rooms with specialized purposes like the salon or dining room were created and popularized. Glamorous neighborhoods came about as well. Faubourg Saint Germain (7eme) was home to nobility. The Ile Saint-Louis (4eme) was an urban planner’s dream. Suddenly planners and architects like Louis Le Vau (helped build the Palace of Versailles) were considering safety and thinking ahead while building on the island. The materials used were stone and slate and these were known to be less of a risk. Suddenly, inner courtyards were not as important- people were more concerned with views of the river. The outer facades were simple because the wealthy owners were more concerned with what was happening inside.
One of Paris’s first great push towards private real estate development (for the upper class, of course) was head by Louis Le Barbier. Sales were made on the Ile Saint Louis and development of both the left and right bank came underway. Instead of focusing energies on rebuilding the city center, a new interest in the outer parts of Paris arose. His work set apart neighborhoods like Saint Germain des Pres and the Latin Quarter. In the 1630s and 1640s the most wealthy lived in large 6-10 bedroom “Hotels” usually close to powerful monuments (Louvre, Palais Royale, etc) or near St. Germain des Pres. Le Barbier is also responsible for famous streets such as Rue Les Petits-Champ.Go Back