Magasin au Bon Marche
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Architect L. A. Boileau and Gustave Eiffel
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Location Paris, France   map
Date 1876   timeline
Building Type retail, department store
 Construction System iron, glass, and bearing masonry
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Victorian
Notes frilly iron ornamentation and flying bridges.


Photo, exterior, facade at street corner

More Images
Aerial view of Magasin au Bon Marche

  More images available on The GBC CD-ROM.



Section Drawing

Section Drawing

Plan Drawing
Perspective Drawing

Discussion Magasin au Bon Marche Commentary

"It is typical of the period that Eiffel's finest architectural work should be carried out in the service of Aristide Boucicaut's pioneering, fixed price department store first established in 1852. Boucicaut's selling methods quickly vindicated themselves and by 1872 he was able to build expanded premises for his Bon Marché store in rue de Babylone, to the designs of M.A. Laplanche. This was the complex that Boileau and Eiffel added to in 1876. The Boileau/Eiffel section of the Bon Marché was penetrated and articulated by spectacular light wells, bridges and Baroque staircases. Equally integrated into the structure were light metal catwalks running over the high-pitched ferro-vitreous roof covering the major voids."

— Kenneth Frampton and Yukio Futagawa. Modern Architecture 1851-1945. p36.

The Creator's Words

"In this luminous assembly, solid architecture will play the role of a dressed stone setting; it will have to count just enough to make the interior daylight vibrate with as much intensity as possible so that the transverse graded surfaces and the semi-lit depths which surround it will appear to be as gay, resonant and well furnished as if they were in the pure daylight of the outside."

— Boucicaut, from Kenneth Frampton and Yukio Futagawa. Modern Architecture 1851-1945. p36.


Address: 22, rue de Servres, 75007 Paris.

Sources on Magasin au Bon Marche

Kenneth Frampton. Modern Architecture, 1851-1945. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1983. ISBN 0-8478-0506-9. LC 83-61363. NA642.F7 1983. interior perspective, p36. plan of stairs, p191. section, p37.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. Interior perspective drawing of staircase, p208-209. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Magasin au Bon Marche


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