"Maison Du Brésil" Wardrobe / Room-Divider by Le Corbusier

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About

Le Corbusier's Maison du Brésil was built between 1956-1959 to house Brazilian intellectuals studying in Paris. The rooms were fitted with custom-made furniture designed in 1958 by Le Corbusier with his long-time collaborator Charlotte Perriand. It was the last project these two giants worked on together. This piece is a large oak wardrobe that served both as a storage unit for books and clothing, and also as a free-floating room divider. The painted side was intended as a headboard for a bed placed against it -- the square, asymmetrically-placed niche acting as a recessed night table for a resident scholar's books, radio, alarm clock, etc.

On the other side, there are sliding doors of painted steel which conceal shelves and a vertical area for hanging clothing, and a stack of nine colored drawers. Patented by Charlotte Perriand, these plastic drawers are design icons in their own right. Each is molded with the inscription "MODÈLE Charlotte Perriand / Breveté S.G.D.G." which demonstrates that they are of the same vintage as the rest of the piece, and not recently made re-edtions. Finally, there is also on this side (in the upper left-hand corner) a steel coat-hook, enameled in gray, which must have been very useful for tossing a jacket on to after a long night spent debating the fine points of some new theory, movie, or sculpture.

This original piece is a rarity, as it is one of only a few which were built specifically for the rooms in a single historic building. The responsibility for manufacture fell in 1958/1959 to the legendary Steph Simon, a visionary whose gallery was then home-base for some of the most important design figures of the time (Prouvé, Perriand, Noguchi, Jouve, Mouille, Yanagi).

The condition is excellent, with only the ordinary wear one expects of a 60-year-old piece of furniture. Additional photos are available on request.

Provenance:

La Maison du Brésil, Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris.

Literature:

Elisabeth Vedrenne, Le Corbusier, Paris, 1998, pp. 66-67.
W. Boesiger, ed., Le Corbusier et son Atelier Rue de Sèvres 35, Œuvre Complète 1957-1965, New York, 1990, pp. 192-199.
Jacques Barsac, Charlotte Perriand: Un Art d'Habiter, Paris, 2005, pp. 466-468.


        

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent. One of the plastic drawers (a yellow one) has chip on its edge. This can be restored at no additional cost if the buyer so desires..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use
  • Dimensions
    59.4 in. H x 70.5 in. W x 27 in. D
    151 cm H x 179 cm W x 69 cm D
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Number of Items
    1
  • Reference Number
    LU80914755083

About Charlotte Perriand (Designer)

A pioneer of modernism in France, Charlotte Perriand was one of the most influential figures in 20th-century design and architecture. In her long career, Perriand’s aesthetic grammar constantly evolved, moving from the tubular steel furniture of the “Machine Age” to a lyrical naturalism.

     Perriand’s studies at the Ecole de L'Union Centrale de Arts Decoratifs left her enthralled by Le Corbusier and his vision of a new, rational architecture. In 1924, she joined his studio to design furniture along with Pierre Jeanneret, Corbu’s partner and cousin. Together, they devised some of the finest examples of early modernist furniture, including two icons of the era: the “B306” chaise with its swooping frame and hide upholstery; and the chunky, steel-framed “Gran Confort” club chair. Collaborative design produced another Perriand triumph: in the early 1950s, she and Jean Prouvé were engaged to produce desks, worktables and bookcases for the University of Paris. The bookcases — slim pine shelves with brightly painted aluminum dividers — are minimalist masterpieces.

     By the end of that decade, Perriand’s aesthetic had changed completely from the earliest days of her career. She produced a series of furniture in ebonized wood: chairs with gentle S-curve legs, front and back; tables with elliptical tops. In the mid-1960s, she adopted an almost rustic look, designing simple chairs with dowel-cut frames and rush seats. Yet everything in Perriand’s oeuvre is beautiful, whether it’s the centerpiece of a décor or an accent. Charlotte Perriand’s work is in every great design collection, public and private. Works on these pages will show you why.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2005

Typical response time: 2 hours

Located in Los Angeles, CA

Associations:
  • 20th Century Specialists

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