For Art Basel Miami Beach 2013, French fashion house Louis Vuitton has built ‘La Maison au Bord de l’Eau’, a compact modernist beach house by architect, designer, planner and photographer Charlotte Perriand.
“Charlotte Perriand remains an influential figure in the modern movement of the 20th century. With links to the avant-garde in France, Germany, Russia, Japan and Brazil, her work spans seven decades of the last century.” says Louis Vuitton. “She left her mark on the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, always working at the very top of her profession and at the cutting edge of the new. She was the first woman to work as an architect, designer and planner, opening up all these opportunities to the many women who followed her.”
A pioneer of interior architecture alongside architect Le Corbusier, she was also a trailblazer for the modern movement in furniture, the creator of many design masterpieces now regarded as icons. As a close friend of, and collaborator with, painter Fernand Léger, her work is marked by the concept she called a ‘synthesis of the arts’ (Synthèse des arts) and the determination to share progress with everyone through her chosen field of creativity: the home.
‘La Maison au Bord de l’Eau’ was first conceived in 1934 for a design contest held by L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui magazine and was meant to introduce an economical form of holiday lodging for the mass market. The project won second prize but was never built. Perriand later reworked the idea into several variations for wealthier vacationers. The fact that the project was never executed explains the lack of detailed drawings and the great variety of versions found in sketches.
Now, eight decades later, her studies prove quite contemporary in light of the advancements in wooden architecture. “Though a certain degree of adaptation was necessary to translate the original drawings and notes into a tangible structure, the spirit of the designer was respected to the fullest.”
This never-beforereleased work by the architect will be on display in South Beach until December 8th, 2013.