Two symmetrical wooden volumes, facing a raised patio, easy to assemble and knock down, and also to expand to meet family needs: we’re not talking about a contemporary prefab house, but about a project created way back in 1934 by a protagonist of 20th-century design: Charlotte Perriand, who together with Pierre Jeanneret shared the famous Paris studio of Le Corbusier.
An emancipated woman, Perriand managed to find – in an absolutely masculine world like that of architecture – her own precise role, her own independent path, full of encounters and inventions. She was a designer but also a photographer, and a tireless traveler who loved the mountains (an expert climber and skier).
Above all, she was able to invent, with a long-term vision, solid and sustainable projects made with recyclable materials and light, traveling structures with low environmental impact. Just like the vacation home ‘au bord de mer’ which the brilliant French architect began to work on starting in 1934, when she was just over thirty, but never had a chance to actually build.
The ‘maison’ remained on paper until 2013, when with the support of Louis Vuitton the first prototype was made, based on the original drawings, for Art Basel in Miami. From Florida the ‘maison’ has reached Milan, for the FuoriSalone, updating that nomadic spirit that inspired its eclectic creator.
photos by David Zanardi