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ANR funded project

Programme franco-allemand en SHS (FRAL) 2012

METACULT - METissages (Crossbreedings), Architecture, CULTure Cultural transfers in Architecture and Town Planning. Strasbourg 1830-1940

We propose to study the physiognomy of a city as the result of transnational exchanges, thus applying to Architecture the approach developed by the Cross-national History (histoire croisée). Strasbourg is an excellent case study for such an endeavor as this city is the junction where German and French cultures are interconnected since many centuries. The study will focus on the years 1830-1940, the first industrial era so important in the development of European cities During that period the national frontiers around Strasbourg changed three times, a factor which intensified the cultural mix shaping the city. Our hypothesis is that the traditional geographical and historical division of Strasbourg into “Old city”, “German extension” and the suburban lay-outs of the Interwar years hides a more complex cultural realty mixing together durably different ways of doing things coming from both sides of the Rhine. Our idea is to show in detail to how Strasbourg’s Architecture and Town planning result from human, cultural and material transfers between Germany and France, the two being interwoven with the particular Alsatian heritage.

In order to combine different points of views and approaches our team is formed of historians and architects coming from both countries. Each has the knowledge of different cities and experience in handling different kinds of sources, German or French, local or national. We can therefore bring together different points of views and methods of work that rarely were associated in one research: those coming from different disciplines such as History, History of Art and the Archeology of buildings.

The study will focus on few series of buildings of different types and scales (dwellings as well as religious and educational institutions) and on agents involved in the construction process (proprietors, architects, builders…). The types of buildings examined differ as to their practical, social or religious importance. Some are very present in the city, other were less studied up until now. Through these studies we propose to experiment methods of approach concerning different manners of architectural transfers.


ARCHE Arts, civilisation et histoire de l'Europe

Universität Karlsruhe Institut Für Kunst Baugeschichte im KIT

Universität Mainz Kunsthistorisches Institut Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

ANR grant: 331 978 euros
Beginning and duration: mars 2013 - 36 mois


ANR Programme: Programme franco-allemand en SHS (FRAL) 2012

Project ID: ANR-12-FRAL-0006

Project coordinator:
Madame Anne-Marie CHÂTELET (Arts, civilisation et histoire de l'Europe)


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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.