Mémoire et projet sur les voieries, les boyauderies, les ateliers d’ecarissage, les manufactures de brique et de carreau, les fabriques de vernis gras, de colle forte, de minium, les nitrières arteficielles, etc.
Paris, chez l’auteur (and Méquignon) nd (c.1798 or later).
4to. 16pp, 1 folding engraved plate. Sewn as issued.
A very scarce pamphlet by the French architect Pierre Giraud (1744-1814), who had started his architectural career at Limoges but who had later settled in Paris and who had held appointments as architect to the Louvre and to the Palais de Justice in the early 1790s. The pamphlet explains his scheme for centralising the deposit and processing of Paris’s sewage at two sites in its surrounding countryside, at each of which there would be a carefully planned complex, centered on a geometrically planned sewage treatment building of which the roof would be supported in front by a range of eighteen columns, and providing facilities in a surrounding courtyard for the manufacture of bricks, tiles, and other products that could be manufactured from human and associated waste (the ground plan of the complex is illustrated on the pamphlet’s accompanying plate, with an accompanying elevation and section of the principal building). The pamphlet is undated but contains a reference in its text to An V in the French republican calendar (September 1796 – September 1797), leading us to guess that the present pamphlet may belong to the following year, An VI (September 1797 – September 1798), or to a slightly later date.This is doubtless one of the very earliest fully worked out schemes by an architect for a sewage treatment site, but prospective purchasers should not be deterred in the least by its subject matter, for Giraud’s text is full of interesting detail, and, to repeat a Latin tag from Terence’s play Heautontimorumenos used by Giraud himself on the volume’s title leaf, “homo sum, nihil [humani] a me alienum puto”. The pamphlet is held by the Canadian Centre for Architecture (which is lucky enough to possess what is probably a complete collection of Giraud’s numerous pamphlets), but there seems to be no copy in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and no copy is held by the British Architectural Library or by other obvious institutional libraries outside France.