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Publicity still of Charlotte Perriand on the B306 Chaise Longue, 1928


 
 

 

 

       
 

Charlotte
PERRIAND

 

Chaise-Longuing!

 

 

 

If the Villa Savoye (white and stilted) leaves you cold after Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (transparent in nature wild), you are not alone--Le Corbusier’s machine-aesthetic architectural legacy is increasingly démodé.  But the tubular steel furniture designed by Charlotte Perriand, the French architect and designer, along with Le Corbusier and his cousin, Pierrre Jeanneret, remain classic--iconic, recognizable Machine Age classics.  The question is how much of the designs were Perriand’s own and how much was contributed by Le Corbusier.  The answer to that isn’t quite clear.  The story is that when Perriand first came looking to work with Le Corbusier, he was to tell her: We don’t embroider cushions here.”   Later, when his cousin Pierre had taken him to see the Bar sous le Toît an installation for the 1927 Salon d’Autonne which showcased Perriand’s furniture made of glass, steel, and aluminum for a rooftop bar, he was rather impressed, and changed his mind and invited her to work with them.

 


B306 Chaise Longue, 1928, Chromed bent tubular steel, leather,
Design: Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret,Charlotte Perriand

 

Here are two of the famous chairs that were originally shown as part of L'equipement d'une habitation at the 1929 Salon d'automne in Paris--the B306 chaise-longue and the LC-2 Club Chair.

 

The B306 chaise-longue (now sold as the LC4)  is thought to be mostly Perriand's work.  A dramatic and rather bold statement, with its adjustable frame, this long chair was inspired by the sinuous lines of 18th century daybeds.  The famous publicity still of Perriand (top photo) reclining on the chaise with legs crossed at the ankle, short skirt of a length that was risqué at the time, the industrial armor of necklace of ball bearings, the helmet of smooth hair.

 


Grand Confort LC2 Club Chair, 1928
Chromed bent tubular steel, leather
Design: Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand

 

And there is that other famous chair: The Grand Confort LC2 Club Chair.  The old club chair gone modernist.  The sense of comfort offered by overstuffed cushioning here restrains itself to straight lines, the comfort contrasting with and constrained by the industrial steel tubing. 

 

Perriand was later particularly inspired by Kakuzo Okakura's The Book of Tea, after spending time in the Far East, and was later to design the interior at the minimalist residence of the Japanese ambassador in Paris along with Jean Prouvé . She was also to design some remarkable furniture with Prouvé, including the famous bookcase, the Bibliotheque from the Maison du Mexique: "They invited the painter Sonia Delaunay, known for her use of color and geometry to create the palette.  Of lacquered steel and pine, there is also a variation that combines the bookcase with a bench."

 

Perriand (as in the pubicity still) still casts a rather longue shadow over the design world

 

 

To Pre-Order: Charlotte Perriand, Objects and Furniture Design

 

Read: The Book of Tea,   Kakuzo Okakura

 

Buy: LC-4, dwr.com

 

 

Tags:  design  art  architecture  france  paris       books  design  color   

 

 

 

Farnsworth House, Mies van der Rohe
Photo: Jon Miller, Hedrich Blessing, farnsworthhouse.org

 

Villa Savoye, Le corbusier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bibliotheque from the Maison du Mexique, 1952
Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé and Sonia Delaunay

 

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