Engineers and architects, including François Hennebique, Auguste Perret, and Tony Garnier, pioneered the use of reinforced concrete construction in the late 19th and early 20th cent. The Swiss-born architect, Le Corbusier, applied the modern machine aesthetic to French architecture in such buildings as the Villa Savoye (1929) outside Paris.
Recent postmodern architecture in France ranges from Piano and Rogers's high-tech Centre Georges Pompidou (1970–77) in Paris to Ricardo and Emilio Bofill's sprawling neoclassical housing development in Marne-la-Vallée (1978–83). Under President François Mitterrand, several new cultural monuments were commissioned for Paris, including I. M. Pei's new pyramid-shaped entrance pavilion at the Louvre (1987–89) and Dominique's controversial Bibliothèque nationale (opened 1998).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.