In 1922, Le Corbusier began working in the new rue de Sèvres atelier with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret with whom he shared research projects and design criteria in a profound professional relationship.
In October 1927, the pair decided to draw on the contribution of a young architect who had already begun to establish a reputation on the architectural scene of the time: Charlotte Perriand. Their collaboration lasted through to 1937 and was extremely fruitful, especially in the fi eld of furniture design. The partnership was highly signifi cant, both in terms of the cultural weight of their achievements and their professional successes. It was together with Charlotte Perriand that the pair tackled the innovative project for “l’équipement de la maison”. The resulting designs were of great intellectual value and considerable commercial success. Thanks to Cassina’s ongoing production, there is continued interest in the conceptual contents of the work and the level of quality attained. Due to these characteristics, each item in the collection is eagerly awaited.
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, was born at La Chauxde-Fonds, in Switzerland, in 1887; he died in France, at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in 1965.
Early in his career his work met with some resistance owing to its alleged “revolutionary” nature and the radical look it acquired from its “purist” experiments; in time, however, it won the recognition it deserved and it is still widely admired.
In his activities as town-planner, architect and designer, his method of research continued to develop, at times going to the opposite extremes of a rich plastic idiom. Instances of this are: Unité d’Habitation in Marseille (1946-52); the Chapel Notre-Dame du Haut at Ronchamp (1950-55); the Dominican Monastery “La Tourette” at Eveux (1951-56); the Pavillon de l’Homme in Zurich (1964-65) the project of the Hospital in Venice (1965).
Much the same commitment will be found in the design of several furnishings, such as: the furniture of the Equipement intérieur de la maison (tables, chairs, armchairs, sofas) designed for the Salon d’Automne in 1928, with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand and “Casiers Standard”, system of container units designed for the Pavillon of the Esprit Nouveau, 1925 in collaboration with Pierre Jeanneret.
Graduating at l’Ecole des Beaux-arts in Geneva, Pierre Jeanneret was an architect, designer and town planner. His name and works are inextricably linked with his celebrated cousin Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as “Le Corbusier” of whom he was partner between 1922 and 1940.
Together, they collaborated on a large number of projects and developments before World War II, including Villa La Roche in Paris, currently the home of Fondation Le Corbusier, and the famous “Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand” furniture collections.
At the beginning of the 1950’s, on the request of Le Corbusier he moved to India to construct the new capital of Pendjab, Chandigarh, and was head of the project until 1966. Chandigarh became a major architectural landmark and beacon of modern urbanism. If Chandigarh’s fame carries the infl uence of Le Corbusier, the qualities of this capital can be attributed to the genius of both Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret.
Charlotte Perriand full membership of that avant-garde cultural movement which, from the first decades of the twentieth century, brought about a profound change in aesthetic values and gave birth to a truly modern sensitivity towards everyday life. In this context, her specific contribution focuses on interior composition, conceived as creating a new way of living, still today at the heart of contemporary lifestyle.
In the sphere of twentieth century furnishing history, the advent of modernity made possible the entrepreneurial audacity of this true reformer of interior design. At the beginning of her professional career she was acclaimed by critics for her Bar under the roof, exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in 1927 and constructed entirely in nickel-plated copper and anodized aluminium. In the same year, when she was just twenty-four years old, she began a decade-long collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, at the famous design studios at 35, rue de Sèvres in Paris.
Her presence in the Le Corbusier studio is visible in all the furnishings designed with him and with Pierre Jeanneret: and so Charlotte Perriand becomes a cornerstone in the reformation project promoted by the architect, adding a distinct dimension of humaneness to the often cold rationalism of Le Corbusier. In her creations she manages to animate the fundamental substance of daily life with new aesthetic values: in particular her talent and intuition in the discovery and use of new materials manifest themselves to their full extent.
The ten-year long collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, and her Japanese experience, represent periods of intense creative effervescence in the life of the artist. During her long stay in the Far East (‘40-‘46), she reveals her artistic talent to the full, through a reinterpretation of the reality of life to echo both tradition and modernity. By way of example, worthy of mention are the furnishings produced using traditional bamboo processing techniques, capable of enhancing the new forms already experimented using steel-tubing.
After her work as a professional, she concentrates on a series of original and balanced productions, commissioned by top-level authorities and leading companies of the calibre of Air France, and by a number of foreign organizations, authenticating the fame she had by now gained on the international scene.
The distinguishing factor of Charlotte Perriand’s personality is a sincere loyalty to the principles of humane and innovative rationalism, preserved intact in her projects, on which she worked with such passion, also in readiness for their revival in the “Cassina I Maestri” collection.
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