Tubular steel chairs, or perhaps aluminium and glass creations might indeed be the first designs that come to mind when thinking of Charlotte Perriand’s pioneering pieces. One of modernism’s most significant furniture designers, and one of the few women who broke the glass ceiling of this then firmly male-dominated profession, Perriand’s most famous designs include the iconic LC4 Chaise Longue or the LC7 Swivel Chair, both of which were developed in collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. On this recently-reissued oak wood-and-aluminium shelving collection however, the French designer worked on her own. Called ‘Nuage‘ the Bauhaus-coloured modular series was inspired by Japanese architecture (Perriand spent there two years working as a ministerial advisor on industrial design) and comprises five models of varying heights, all of which feature characteristic sliding panels which come in either anodised aluminium, or in red, blue, green, yellow, grey, black or white.
More about the series:
‘Perriand baptised her inventions in a deliberately provocative way “nouvelle quincaillerie”- that is new hardware, a set of elements that can be combined: metal supports, wooden shelves, metallic space blocks, sliding panels, trays, etc., which could be assembled together. “Starting from these elements,” she wrote, “I could freely create entire walls or reduced combinations, or even furniture.”
‘Her compositions go from sideboards and cupboards to bookshelves, with ground support or hung following symmetrical and asymmetrical plans, or even free-standing bookcases capable of structuring the architecture of a space. The basic components are the wooden oak shelves and vertical elements in aluminium which has been anodised or painted black. Five different heights studied in order to best organise various formats of objects and books.’