Marcel A

Architect of Paris, he was a recipient of numerous international awards and competitions.
In the late nineteenth century, Alexandre MARCEL became enthused by the oriental fashion of the time, and in particular by Japonese architecture.
In 1899, Alexandre MARCEL, was in Paris, rue de Babylone, where he completed a decorated hall for the Japanese director of "Bon Marché" (now since 1931 cinema "La Pagode").
That same year, he married Madeleine BERGERE and for his new family, around the castle Colbert, he developed a garden, with an orchard and a vegetable garden in " a French style". On the banks of the river "La Moine" whose waters are now kept back by a dam, he started a garden, which he called a "Japanese landscape ".
At the Universal Exhibition in Paris (1900), Alexandre MARCEL was responsible for the implementation of three pavilions: those of Cambodia, Spain and that of the sea-transport company called the "Panorama du Tour du Monde".

 
Exposition Paris 1900

This panorama comprised four buildings, the highest was a Japanese tower with multiple roofs. The pavilion of Cambodia, a temple in the classical style of the country, was at Trocadero. At the top of an impressive staircase protected by stone lions was a huge room decorated with Buddhist sculptures.

Alexandre Marcel was a regular visitor to Maulévrier and developed a Japanese landscape garden, in the town, with architectural pieces repurchased at the closing of the exhibition.

 

At the same time, King Leopold II of Belgium, who had purchased the Japenese Tower, asked Alexandre Marcel to rebuild his property in Laeken, in the north of Brussels, where it still remains. He then ordered a Chinese lodge with curved roof. This was the beginning of the international and royal career of Alexandre Marcel. The king later asked him to build the royal racetrack of Ostende and to restore his castles (Ciergon and Bulge in Belgium). Alexandre Marcel was presented to Baron Empain who ordered plans for a princely and modern city in the north of Cairo, Heliopolis. Between 1908 and 1911 Alexandre Marcel built, among others, the Hindu palace.

In 1911 the Maharajah of Kapurtala, principality of Punjab at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains, gave Marcel, an order for a palace that he wanted in a classic French style, surrounded by gardens in the spirit of Le Nôtre.

Alexandre Marcel went over to Japan in 1913 to work on the construction of the French Embassy in Tokyo. As the war was declared, this project could not be completed. In 1924 he published about Orientalism and architectural projects: « orientalisme et architecturales exécutés et projetés » . Two days after the inauguration of the last building in July 1928 (Monuments to the Dead of the Fayette squadron in the Saint Cloud Park), Alexandre Marcel died at his desk.


 
In October 2007, a plaque paying tribute to Alexandre Marcel and his work was erected, at the park entrance. It was inaugurated in the presence of Jean Pierre Chavassieux, director of the park (pictured left), Joel Berson, president of the association (right) and two grandsons of Alexander Marcel (center).
 
Inauguration signalétique Alexandre Marcel