Cassina, the only company authorised to manufacture furniture designed by Charlotte Perriand (1903- 1999), supported Fondation Louis Vuitton’s exhibition “Le monde nouveau de Charlotte Perriand” with reconstructions of her works and loans from its archive. Cassina has always had a special interest in the diffusion of the works of the designers and architects of its collections, promoting cultural initiatives and creating exceptional collaborations. Through careful and rigorous philological reconstruction in collaboration with Pernette Perriand Barsac, the company has produced the interiors of the Salon d'Automne (1929) featuring reissues to faithfully represent this revolutionary project. It has also reproduced some items of furniture for the Maison du Jeune Homme (1935), the Proposition d’une Synthèse des Arts (1955) and a selection of other pieces designed during her time in Asia. The futuristic Refuge Tonneau (1938), an authentic masterpiece of mobile architecture envisioned with Pierre Jeanneret for the mountains, has also been showed for this occasion.


“Le monde nouveau de Charlotte Perriand” was not only an extraordinary occasion to view visionary design masterpieces but also a chance to discover an innovative historical period that permits a wider reading and further interpretation of the pioneering figure of Charlotte Perriand and her relationship with 20th century arts and an evolving social and political order.


Salon d’Automne


The Salon d'Automne, the annual art exhibition held at the Grand Palais in Paris, was the staging for the Equipement intérieur d'une habitation by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, exactly 90 years ago in 1929. This was the trio’s first public presentation of the iconic tubular metal furniture, at the time received with much scandal due to its unexpected and criticised minimalism, today produced by Cassina. Thanks to Cassina and with the guidance of Pernette Perriand Barsac and design historian Arthur Rüegg, the interiors of the Salon d'Automne have been completely reconstructed for the first time for this exhibition and, for a truly immersive experience, can be visited in part by the public. Metal cabinets, known as casiers, have been reconstructed according to the original project thanks to the philological study of drawings and prototypes. These cabinets trace the living, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom areas while also acting as multi-functional containers. Characterised by fluid spatial articulation, this modern habitation has been furnished with armchairs, tables and chairs that later became the central core of Cassina’s Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand Collection: the LC1 armchair, the LC2 and LC3 Grand Confort armchairs, Petit and Grand Modèle, the iconic LC4 chaise-longue, the LC6 table, the LC7 swivel chair, the LC8 stool and the LC9. The single bed has on the other hand been especially produced for the exhibition. These models, created for the exhibit in the specific colours and materials applied at the time, were imagined as essential home ‘equipment’ for various uses from study to relaxation and conversation. In order to guarantee a thorough and in-depth analysis of the interiors of the Salon d'Automne, Cassina first developed a series of study models, in agreement with Pernette Perriand and the Le Corbusier Foundation, made with the same production techniques from the 1920s. This specific reconstruction process gave a complete view of the technical details and formal choices made at the time in relation to the means available to Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand. These prototypes are now part of the Cassina Historical Archives at the company’s Headquarters in Meda, Italy, as tangible evidence of the company’s research capacity.


Maison du Jeune Homme


The House for a Young Man (1935) was a housing project that Charlotte Perriand proposed for the French section of the Universal Exposition in Brussels. The space was designed for ‘an intellectual athlete’ where the study area was separated from the area dedicated to sport by a freestanding casier and a net functionating as a transparent partition. For this section of the exhibit, Cassina has reconstructed the Table en ardoise, a variation of the table designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand for Le Corbusier’s apartment in Paris in 1934. Instead of marble, this version has a slate top with a series of functional grooves made to hold pencils and pens. The casier or bahut manifeste has the same supporting base as the Table en ardoise and a neatly organised interior to classify documents. The central door of this modular system has a decorative zinc plated panel that depicts an engraving of a detail from Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin urban plan while a second decorative panel on its side includes drawings from Le Corbusier’s Précision sur un état present de l'architecture et de l'urbanisme.


Proposition d'une Synthèse des Arts


The Proposition d'une Synthèse des Arts (1955) installation by Charlotte Perriand was part of an exhibition that took place in Tokyo. In 2013, for the exhibit Charlotte Perriand et le Japon in Saint Etienne in France, Cassina authentically reproduced prototypes of a series of bookshelves that were part of this project. Now part of the company’s Historical Archives they were on show together with new reconstructions including the ingenious Double chaise-longue. This piece was originally designed in 1952 for the villa of Maurice Delage, the Director of a company that produced mines in Conakry. Designed to encourage conversation, it has an inclined seat that raises one’s feet above heart level in order to rest swollen legs in tropical heat.