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Vladimir Bodiansky

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Vladimir Bodiansky

Vladimir Bodiansky

December 10, 1966, Paris, France

Vladimir Bodiansky (March 25, 1894 - December 10, 1966) was a French engineer with origins in Russia and a specialty in modern architecture.


Vladimir Bodiansky vladimir bodiansky and ATBATafrique housing algiers 1953 a

Early life and education

Vladamir Bodiansky began his education in 1910 at the Moscow Highway Institute. After spending four years there, Bodianksy left with a civil engineering degree in 1914, and began building railways for the Russian Protectorate of Bokhara. Because he was enrolled as a volunteer member of the Russian Cavalry, he was sent off to fight in World War I in 1915. He fought in Russia until three months after the October 1917 Revolution, receiving his first degree in aviation in November 1917 from the Aviation School of Tiflis. He arrived in France in January 1918, and three months later Bodiansky joined the French Foreign Legion. As a member of the Foreign Legion, Bodiansky had many different roles in the aviation division, including as a military aviator pilot, a hydroplane pilot, a seaplane pilot, and a civil aviation pilot. He demobilised from the French Legion on November 27, 1919, however he remained in France. He decided to attend the College of Aeronautics Mechanical Construction, receiving a diploma in 1920. He elected to apply for Naturalization on April 11, 1927 and was naturalized on June 26, 1929. After a three-year stint in the Congo building highways, Bodianski returned to France in 1923, where he started working with design offices and aircraft companies, specifically one owned by the Caudron brothers. From 1925 to 1930, Bondiansky worked as a project manager for the aviation studios of Francois Villiers in Meudon, where he was able to take out three patents with Villier himself. Following Villier's death, Bodiansky started designing prototypes for a two-seater fighter plane for the French Army.

Change in career

Due to his work in the field of aviation, Bodiansky was able to meet Marcel Lods, an architect who shared his interest in the field. This encounter marked a change in Bodiansky's career, as he took on the role of an engineer in the field of architecture. Through Lods, Bodiansky met Eugene Mopin, an accomplished contractor who was working on making concrete for a housing complex in Drancy. Because this was the first time that Mopin was using his experimental method of construction and Bodiansky's name was associated with it, this furthered Bodiansky's role in the field of architecture. This continued when Bodiansky began working as the head of design in Mopin's office starting in March 1933. He worked there until July 1937, when he was hired by Lods' agency to be a salaried engineer, where he worked until July 1940. This marked another shift in Bodiansky's career, as he then began his career as a freelance engineer.

Construction of the Maison du Peuple

In 1935, a contest was held to see which architect could most efficiently design a rooftop for the open air market in Rue de Lorraine. The contest, organized by the Mayor of Clichy, gave Bodiansky the opportunity to work closely with Lods again. The two of them, along with the rest of their team, designed a market with both a ground and upper floor, along with a 1000-seat auditorium that was capable of being transformed into a movie theatre, that came to be known as the Maison du Peuple. Both the floor and the roof were retractable. Because this idea was innovative at the time, this helped Bodiansky solidify himself as both an engineer and an architect, as his design made the market more versatile (by providing both food and entertainment). The Maison du Peuple is now known as one of the biggest open air markets in France.

North African housing problem

In the late 1940s, Bodiansky oversaw the construction of houses in Morocco, an area that had been plagued with too much internal migration from nearby rural areas, leading to a shortage of houses. Bodiansky, acting on behalf of French engineer Le Corbusier, teamed up with young architects such as Georges Candilis, Shadrach Woods, and Henri Pilot, and created ATBAT-Afrique, a firm designed to fix the housing problems throughout Northern Africa. The goal of the firm was to efficiently construct projects and bring engineers and architects closer together, as well as strengthen and contribute to the reconstruction effort following World War II. Bodiansky's team was able to come up with quick and innovative housing solutions, and solved the housing problem within two years.


Vladimir Bodiansky Wikipedia

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