Stereotomy and L’Art du Trait: The Guitarde as a Case Study


Building trades
Eighteenth century
Compagnons du devoir

How to Cite

Moore, P. (2022). Stereotomy and L’Art du Trait: The Guitarde as a Case Study. Journal of Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism, (3), 289–296.


One example of the combination of structurally sound construction techniques and attention to pleasing aesthetics can be seen in the guitarde, an elaborate type of dormer that was developed in the Loire Valley in France during the eighteenth century. Although the traditional methods of joinery are still taught and practiced, their use in contemporary guitardes is uncommon. Historic preservation work and the insights provided by the construction practices employed in buildings being preserved may give us a new perspective, providing a more holistic and profound approach to sustainable architecture than is allowed by an exclusive reliance on new technologies.


Fourneau, Nicolas. 1757. L’Art du Trait de Charpenterie. Rouen: Firmin Didot.

Icher, Francois. 2000. The Artisans and Guilds of France: Beautiful Craftsmanship Through the Centuries. ??Michigan: Harry N. Abrams.

Mazerolle, Louis. 1866. Traite Theorique et Pratique de Charpente. Dourdan: Éditions Vial.

UNESCO. 2009. Scribing tradition in French timber framing. Intangible Cultural Heritage. (consulted on 20/08/2022).

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