Road Stories

State-of-the-Art Practiced by the Earliest Civil Engineers

This article has been compiled using extracts from the work by Éric Alonzo entitled L’Architecture de la voie. Histoire et théories, Marseille / Champs-sur-Marne, Parenthèses/ École d’architecture de la ville & des territoires, 2018, 526 pages, pp. 88-107. Most of the footnotes have not been reproduced herein.

Over a thousand years after falling into disuse, Roman roads and streets have still continued to inspire and influence architectural theories on roadways. Nonetheless, beginning in the 17th century, and picking up momentum well into the 18th century, France would set the stage for a veritable renaissance of major road projects, offering an updated series of works that won enough admiration to rival the longtime exclusive domain of archaeological vestiges.