Dictionary of French Architecture from the 11th to 16th Century/Volume 6/Loge
(literally: "cabin") Part or portion of gallery, dependent on a public or private building, high above external ground-level and opening largely on the outside, without windows or closings with residence. The loge resembles on the one hand the gantry, other with the bretèche; however it should be distinguished from these two members of architecture. The loge differs from the gantry in what it is high above the public highway, has a particular entry and that its length is limited, while the gantry is a covered gallery of which the length is unspecified. The loge holding at houses differs from the bretèche in this important point that it is opened with the bad weather, apart from the apartments, while the bretèche is closed by panes or shutters and adds at piece-rates an appendix projecting on the public highway. The French architecture of the Middle Ages hardly admitted the cabin but in the southernmost provinces, where it could have a certain utility. In our climates, one always preferred a part closed in these rooms open to all winds, if frequent in the Italian cities of the 13th and 14th centuries. The Italian municipalities raised readily these buildings specific to the meetings of citizens, covered by vaults or skirtings to avoid the rays of the sun. It was in these cabins that the merchants came to discuss their business, like today in the purses and circles. It will be conceived easily that in France the visiting rooms, which correspond to the large cabins of Italy, were to be closed nine months out of twelve; consequently, they were only more or less vast rooms. In the same way as, in our houses, it was rare to find under the roofs these cabins as the use made open at the top Italian dwellings, and who are been willing to breathe the fresh air of the evening. However the cabin was not absolutely banished our dwellings of north. There still existed, few years ago, on the place of the cathedral of Laon, a small house of the 13th century, depending formerly on the chapter, which had a cabin at the base of its roof, laid out in lean-to building and stopped with the angles by watch towers.
Figure 1 gives the perspective rise in the facade of this house. At the base of the pinion, high in retirement, a loge was practised frames some which retourunit on the two walls goutterots and passed then under the roof. It was like a covered way with its watch towers.
Figure 2 presents in A the plan of the facade of the house, on the floor under the cabin, and out of B the plan of this cabin. The cabins close to the roof took the name of soliers, like the roofs themselves; they were used for defense, they made it possible to see all that occurred to
outside, they gave to the inhabitants an excellent drier. Let us observe that these loges low, are well sheltered and closed at the ends.
In the vicinity of the places of markets, one established also sometimes loges relatively low above ground-level of the public highway under some houses, to allow the merchants to treat their businesses with the shelter of the sun and rain. There still exists in Vire (Apple-brandy) a small cabin of this kind, laid out under a house of the 15th century. Nothing is simpler than this construction (3), which is composed of two piles and two stone columns, resting on a sideboard; of a paved surface and some steps posed with each end giving on the public highway. The frontage of the house, in roughcast brick wood side, rests on the two piles of angles and the two columns, so that this cabin only one end of gantry raised with sideboard under its columns is other thing.
On the facades of the town halls, palates, particular rich person houses, there were sometimes, but extremely seldom in France, of the cabins laid out with the way of the bretèches, i.e. related in corbelling to consoles. These cabins, by their small dimension, were, to be strictly accurate, only covered balconies. They were less rare in the provinces of the east and south-east that in Isle-de-France, the provinces of the west and the center. Some houses of Dijon had some formerly; one found some in Metz, Verdun and towards the edges of the Rhine, as testify some to many engravings to the 16th and 17th centuries. These loges in corbelling, or rather these bretèches opened, were posed above the gates of the houses, on the first floor, and thus formed a kind of hood on the entry.
We give (4) one of them which we find rather finely indicated in a French manuscript of the 15th century of the library of Munich. It is entirely made stone, is covered with lead and is posed above a door.
The wars of Italy of the end of the 15th century inspired to the French lords the taste cabins; but the architects of the beginning of the Rebirth, who preserved the judicious traditions of art
on our country, dificilement decided themselves to give them the aspect of a construction open on three sides; they rather treated them like
low gantries a reduced length, opening only by the face.
At the top of the staircase of the Room of the Accounts, in Paris, there was thus a hall not glazed which could pass well for a cabin (see Staircase, figure 3). This hall was composed of two spans open on the court of the Ste Chapelle; its arcades, deprived of glazings like those of the staircase, were flanked buttresses decorated with statues1. The cabin, first hall of the room, was extremely rich, as one can about it judge by our figure 5, which gives an external prospect for it. Below, at ground floor, was the door of the residences of the first usher and the receiver of spices. The large covered stage that we give here as a cabin held place of small room of not-lost. We have in Paris a very-remarkable monument by the style of its architecture and which was treated with the manner of the Italian cabins, it is the monument which one made the fountain of the Innocent ones. This cabin was composed of three arcades, two of face and one in return. In the base, below the arcade in return, on the street, outwards, was a fountain. Balustrades were between the jambs2. place and fountain of Innocent was high with the corner of the street Saint-Denis and the street to Irons. Pierre Lescot was the architect and Jean Goujon the sculptor. In 1785, one deposited it coin with coin and one made of it the monument which we saw restoring recently, monument to which it is quite difficult to today give a significance, because one does not include/understand too much why one had the idea to place a fountain spouting out at six or eight meters height above ground-level, and why, putting it so high, one considered it necessary to make it run safe from the rain, under a dome. A covered fountain is admitted if it is with the range of the passers by, but a water jet crowning a pyramid of basins really does not need umbrella. After all, the charming sculptures of the monument remain us, and there would be bad thanks to complaining about the strange transformations which one subjected the architecture of Pierre Lescot.
1 : See the work of Israel Silvestre, Mérian, and, in the Topography of France, bibl. imp., of large drawings.
2 : See the work of Israel Sylvestre, Marot, Mérian, Félibien.