Iconic Signage – Art Nouveau on the Paris Metro
When it comes to style, Paris is definitely up there at the top of the list. The iconic signs for their metro stations are no exception.
This particular example, the entrance to the Saint Michel Metro Station, was designed by Hector Guimard. Remarkably, if all went to plan when the signs were commissioned, they would never have seen the light of day.
In 1899, the Paris Metropolitan Railway Company launched a competition to determine the designer of the metro’s street architecture. Henry Duray was chosen as the winner. However, the CMP’s president didn’t like Duray’s proposal, preferring that of Jean-Camille Formigé, the municipal architect. As a compromise, Guimard was offered the job, given how enthusiastically the public had reacted to his design for the Castel Béranger, an posh apartment block in the 16th arrondissement.
Paul McQueen has written an interesting article for Culture Trip if you would like to know more about Art Nouveau Metro Stations.