Monumental Inspiration from Something Microscopic

Rene Binet, a French architect and artist, created the entrance for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. Binet modeled that main entrance after an illustration of Clathrocanium reginae by Ernst Haeckel. When you consider that this microscopic sea fauna, a Radiolarian, inspired a structure that used about 192 tonnes of metal and cost about 676,000 French fr., you may want to view Rene Binet’s and Ernst Haeckel’s illustrations to see how they might be of inspiration to you.

As a matter of background, Radiolaria are silica secreting zooplankton. Their size can range from about 100 micrometers to what is considered a very large size of 1-2 mm. The weight gained during maturation of a single Radiolarian is 0.1 micrograms. The dimensions of the Clathrocanium reginae are, in millimeters: cephalis 0.03 long and 0.04 wide with a thorax that measures 0.08 long and 0.12 wide. An image is included in the publication.

Clathrocanium reginae Radiolarian by Ernst Haekel

Clathrocanium reginae Radiolarian by Ernst Haekel

Porte Monumentale, Exposition Universelle of 1900 - Designed by Rene Binet

Porte Monumentale, Exposition Universelle of 1900 – Designed by Rene Binet


Porte Monumentale, Exposition Universelle of 1900 - Designed by Rene Binet

Porte Monumentale, Exposition Universelle of 1900 – Designed by Rene Binet

Rene Binet Paris Exposition 1900 Entrance Art et Decoration c. 1898

Rene Binet Paris Exposition 1900 Entrance Art et Decoration c. 1898

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