Castel Béranger

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In context : Back to the XIXth century at the West of Paris

The first stop is located close to the Maison de Radio-France (the French public service radio broadcaster), near Avenue du Président Kennedy station of the RER C. Just take Jean-de-la-Fontaine street and look right, opposite the Francis-Poulenc academy of music.

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The place

This building may be the birth certificate of the style of Art Nouveau master Hector Guimard, the one who made some famous parisian subway stations entrances.

He was about 30-year old when build the Castel Béranger between 1895 and 1898, and he did almost everything there, including interior decoration.

The building was awarded at the first facades contest of the city of Paris in 1898, but its then unusual style was controversial, earning it the nickname "Castel dérangé" ("Deranged Castel").

There are indeed some eccentricities to Guimard's creation : the pink bricks, the typical finely wrought ironworks, and other little strange additions. Painter Paul Signac, who lived in one of the 6th floor's art studios, used to call the building the "excentric house" (using the english words).

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