Jean Rondelet took up his career in 1770, working for Jacques-Germain Soufflot, the architect of the most conspicuous and structurally daring church of the period, now known as the Pantheon in Paris. Rondelet assumed the role of technical expert, taking on more and more control not only of the structural design but of the site organization as well. The church became a focus of acrimonious debate among architects and engineers when faults in the structure threatened a total collapse of the dome. Rondelet emerged, not quite the victor, but the man commissioned to ensure structural stability.
This book, the first devoted to Rondelet, tells the story of the most celebrated architectural debate of the century. It also examines Rondelet's career in full, his publications, and his long-lasting influence on the training of architects and the administration of architectural practice in France. More than any other architect, Rondelet represents the era of change during which the foundations for modern architectural theory and practice were laid.