the monumental door created in a microscope    French architect Rene Binet studied different species of plants and crustaceans and used the patterns, links and forms which he found in nature in his work.

Biologist and illustrator Ernst Haeckel’s work was very useful to him during his research (see the balde 52). Haeckel, thanks to his microscope, was able to research and draw the forms of many species. Binet studied his contemporary Ernst Haeckel’s illustrations and they became the inspiration for his work.

Binet’s work made him a symbol for Art Nouveau, Art-Deco and the “Orientalism” which was fashionable in Paris at the time. Turning Haeckel’s two-dimensional illustrations into three-dimensional objects, he designed many pieces of other objects. He also did beautiful work as a garden designer in many artistocrats’ mansions and houses around Paris. But in his best known, most significant work he chose the most extreme forms and aesthetics which nature had to offer.

The ocean radiolarias (protozoos) which Haeckel had shown in his lithographs were the basis for his Monumental Door constructed for the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition. He built his aesthetically completely alien and, for the time, technically daring arch basing himself on the polymorphic radiolaria fossils (which had become minerals) which he had seen in thanks to his microscope. The most important thing still standing from that exhibition is Gustave Eiffel’s tower, but, without wanting to belittle that, we cannot help thinking how wonderful it would be to have Binet’s Porte Monumentale with us today.