Georges Adilon

Architect (1928 - 2009)

The French artist and architect Georges Adilon, born in Lyon, was an outstanding creator who produced an abundant and multi-faceted oeuvre hallmarked by a combination of different forms of visual expression, doing away with the boundaries between art and architecture. A painter and draughtsman trained at the Lyon School of Fine Arts between 1945 and 1949, in 1960 he produced his first architectural work, using his own house as a test bed for a “symbiosis of space, forms and light”. Between 1965 and the 1990s, Adilon produced some 30 dwellings, typified by a sculptural and spare approach, giving pride of place to rough concrete, that subtle and free material creating a connection between rusticity and poetry: Maison D. at Saint-Georges d’Espéranche in 1972; Maison B. at Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d’Or in 1976; Maison T. at Ecully in 1982… as well as two housing estates at Dommartin and Tassin-la-Demi-Lune in 1975, some 15 shops for the Anik brand, the conversion of several industrial premises and, in 1981, the Dani-Alu factory at Sainte-Consorce. In 1966, the Marist Marc Perrot, father superior at the Externat Sainte-Marie in Lyon, offered Adilon a chance to design his most significant architectural work: the re-development and extension of a Marist school (school buildings, chapel, library, theatre…), on one of the hills in the city of Lyon. In this scheme, each building was understood as a living body, endowed with specific movements and features; the architect referred to archetypes of primitive shelters, calling to mind in certain cellular constructions with their almost anthropomorphic character, the forms of the hut and the cave.  While incorporating his pictorial vocabulary, the architect’s language shows a predilection for primary and angular geometric forms, as well as an ongoing interest in the use of varied materials—such as aluminium sheets for cladding the library. Over almost 30 years, Georges Adilon worked in a dynamic and spiritual relationship with the environment, complementing what exists and pursuing history without shifting earlier traces.

Elke Mittmann

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