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Lavoirs: Washhouses of Rural France Paperback – June 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568983921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568983929
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,223,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mireille Roddier is an architect and teaches at University of Michigan.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
80%
4 star
0%
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2 star
10%
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See all 10 customer reviews
The author's research is excellent.
Nancy O'Kelley
Its text is very informative and the black and white photos are simply superb and show the really timeless quality of many of these spaces.
E.W.
A unique look at a true french vernacular.
T. Beauchaine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "mistralito" on August 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
What an outstanding effort. Through truly beautiful photographs and remarkable sketches, Mireille Roddier reminds us that the French patrimony is historically rich of great architecture.
A must read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By godot on June 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Mireille Roddier reveals the humble rural lavoirs as a locus of architectural beauty, french cultural history, and, perhaps most importantly, the neglected landscape of women's spaces. In her essay, Roddier plays brilliantly on the various meanings and histories of laundry (only the very rich always had clean laundry)-- and of laundresses (often thought of as dangerous gossips--because lavoirs were all female, and therefore suspicious, like 7 Sister's colleges)-- a discourse which is still being richly reinvented in today's unceasing obsessions with detergents and "soap operas." The photographs alone are worthy of the book's price--they look out at the reader with a stand-alone energy that evokes the very French, ornately philosophical ideas of the revolution of 1789, when even architecture had to reflect radical, communalist ideas. I'm not an architectural historian, but I think that this book belongs to feminist theory as well as to the history of architecture. It takes the reader to the point where aesthetics becomes or displaces theory, albeit extremely modestly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erika Lansing on May 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This was one of the most interesting books I have encountered recently. The essay at the beginning does a great job at setting up the social and historical contexts of the lavoir, and the photos are just beautiful beyond belief. That something so ordinary (laundry) could be mined for such a broad range of critical and aesthetic substance is a testament not only to the significance of the building type- but also to Roddier's ability to present it as a compelling artifact of material culture. I hope she plans to publish more in the near future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Beauchaine on August 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Exquisite. A unique look at a true french vernacular. Architecture is always best understood in the light of its historical context and the author takes the reader on a time journey to experience not only the beauty of these monuments, but also the reasons behind their construction and how and by whom they were used day-to-day. I'm anxiously awaiting the author's next publication - or better still, a architectural guided tour of rural France.
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By Nancy O'Kelley on December 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If a person is interested in the history of Lavoirs..this is an excellent book to read. The author's research is excellent. We took it on a trip to France to look at the Lavoirs in Chartres...her map helped us out.
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