Let’s do a jump in the history and of 1900 let’s go to 1920-30, to the so called happy years 20. Though there am assumed that these years belonged to the woman, only they corresponded to them in certain cliches: as that of woman“garcon” smoking a cigarette, or after the steering wheel of a car. In any case, it was the beginning of a theoretical and practical revolution, of which today we continue learning.
When in 1927 the young woman 24-year-old Charlotte Perriand, entered the study of the Architect Him Corbusier in search of work, this one answered him textually:
“Unfortunately, Madame, in this workshop we do not embroider cushions”.
But on having seen his designs of pipe cromado, it changed opinion, contracted her, and for 10 years there created as a whole the most emblematic pieces of the modern furniture, as the famous one “chaise longue”, known as the LC 4, the whole icon of the racionalist age, and that very few ones know that it was concebida for Charlotte Perriand. Designed, according to his words, from an integral perspective of the human being, having in it counts simultaneously physiological, functional, circulatory or formal parameters.
“We wanted to do in addition an accessible furniture to all, edited in series and economically”,
was saying Charlotte. With the time his dream was not fulfilled and nowadays these furniture sell in elitist shops, being a luxury saved for certain refined minorities.
Charlotte Perriand collaborated with Him Corbusier in numerous projects of architecture, designing the equipments for different villas as the Savoya, and was employed with him at the definition of “cellule minimum” (1929). He designed also the first prototype of kitchen for the Unit of Room of Marseilles and even it elaborated a theory of the importance of the women in the creation. It was impressed in since the mujeres they had could evolve as for his gown, from the suits encorsetados and inconvinient of ends of 19th century, to a new way of dressing more natural and comfortable.
“The heart, the push, the spirit of inventiveness with which the women have revolutionized his apparel, is a miracle of the modern times”
Charlote was saying.
But the culminating point of his career, where all his previous explorations come together on architecture prefabricación, standardization, minimal cell, industrialization and materials, came with the project of the winter complex of Them Arcs in the French Savoya. Between 1967 and 1982, Perriand projected and constructed (in this occasion without Le Corbusier) three ski resorts of Les Arcs placed to 1600, 1800 and 2000 meters of altitude, where it was necessary to lodge 18.000 persons. The motive idea was to work with the group of minimal cells.
Inside these apartments, Perriand used three types of humid blocks (wash basin – shower, wash basin – bañera-inodoro and kitchen) standardized and pre-equipped. The block of complete bath was constructed of polyester and was joining the tub, the wash basin, the watercloset, the soil and the walls in a species of rind, where the facilities were solved from the exterior, and they were accessible from every apartment.
The goal that Perriand proposed along his career is summarized in the title of the retrospective exhibition realized in 1985 in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Paris: An Art of living. His works discover us
“the spectacle of everything what exists in the human being, in his spirit and in his character”.
With more than ninety years, even it does slightly still it was continuing being employed with his equipment at Rue Las’s workshop Marry of Paris. He died in 1999.
Cristina García-Rosales. Architect
Madrid. March 2014