Charlotte Perriand x Louis Vuitton: Unrealised 1934 Beach House
Charlotte Perriand’s La Maison au Bord de l’Eau, a prefabricated holiday home that until recently only existed on paper. The house was was conceived for a competition run by French architecture magazine L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui to promote affordable holiday homes for the middle-class – but it was never realised.
In collaboration with the Charlotte Perriand’s architecture team and led by the architect’s archival sketches, Louis Vuitton has constructed Perriand’s vision 80 years later. The fashion house has also launched a ready-to-wear collection inspired by the spirit of the architect, on show at South Beach during this year’s Design Miami.
The summer house has aluminium walls, sliding doors, and an unimaginable number of details for happy living (shelves under tables to keep napkins; fold-up, storable sun-loungers; double glazing, a double sink).
Created to be erected by water, its iroko floors and okuma walls were also chosen for their insect-repellent qualities. Entirely contemporary by today’s tastes, it was, unsurprisingly, considered utterly de trop in 1934. ‘No one was interested in building it. The reaction was one of dislike to horror,’ says Pernette, CHarlotte’s daughter.
She continues, ‘Charlotte was dedicated to creating small living spaces. Her mission was to eliminate anything unnecessary but always to concentrate on the flow of light and air. Then you can live in the smallest of spaces.’ Charlotte’s own apartment in the 7th, where Pernette and her husband Jacques Barsac now live, is just 58 sq m spanning two storeys.
All photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton