Editions Centre Pompidou

Paul Nelson | Exhibition Catalog


Paul Nelson, an architect of American origin, born in Chicago in 1895 and died in Marseille in 1979, belongs to this category of architects rarely mentioned in the classics of the history of modern architecture.
Under the curatorship of Olivier Cinqualbre, the exhibition at the Center Pompidou gives it all its importance, considering it at the crossroads of several fundamental currents of contemporary architecture.

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After studying at Princeton, he discovered France as a volunteer aviator on the Allied front during the First World War. In 1920, he began studying architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, first in the Pontremoli workshop, then especially in the Perret workshop known as the Palais de Bois workshop. He graduated in 1927 and stayed in France until 1940.
His dual affiliation explains why he was considered an American architect in France and conversely as a French architect in the United States.
Particularly interested in the question of prefabrication and a specialist in hospital architecture, he distinguished himself by his participation in reconstruction in France after the Second World War. He thus designed the new Saint-Lô hospital, for which he brought in Fernand Léger and Charlotte Perriand, and other hospital and experimental projects. His prototype of a "hanging house", the archives of which are kept at the National Museum of Modern Art, is the mark of an extraordinary creator.
The exhibition catalog will be focussing on these records, mostly unpublished, to do justice to this precursor architect.

Descriptions & Features

Olivier Cinqualbre
Éditions du Centre Pompidou
22 cm x 28 cm
Publication year
Number of pages

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