Absent Le Corbusier, Villa Church | Marcelo Gardinetti

It is a question of the restoration of a beautiful ancient building in Ville d’Avray (Mr. Church). A villa of classic style and a new building, annexe to the villa, with garages in the ground floor, rooms of servitude and a foyer, in the first floor rooms with all the comforts, dining room, room of being with a loft, bath, library and the direct access to the terrace – garden.

The pavilion is the transformation of the ancient house. In the ground floor a great hall of entry established himself with big cupboards, bathroom, kitchen, etc. The first plant has a room of receipt, library, room of games and a bar, treats itself directly about a hanging garden.

Furniture and cupboards against the walls. The seats, chairs, tables, etc. They are furniture of series, created by Him Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand.” 1

The Villa Church in Ville d’Avray, Le Corbusier

The Villa Church in Ville d’Avray is one of the absent structures of Le Corbusier. Realized by order of Henry Church and his wife, the program formulates an atypical challenge in his career: to construct a house linked to a neoclassic existing structure located on an irregular area.

Le Corbusier answers to this circumstance establishing a composition that links itself to the existing constructions by means of terraces and traffics. It solves with fluency the functional program organizing a structure of associate volumes characterized by the geometric, almost classic order, of the principal elevation. His sleeplessness for the harmony of the forms and his aesthetic worries probably they were exalted by the neoclassic character of the existing building.

The main volume set on the access road is shifted slightly from the perpendicular axis to focus the vision, leaving in the background the existing buildings. The geometric arrangement of the entrance garden accentuates the symmetry of the main facade, axial composition slightly shifted toward the left side.

A small balcony controls the center of the facade, enhancing access to the ground floor lobby. The middle part is dominated by a window that intersects the plane horizontally. Two canopy slabs on each side of the upper terrace tops the composition. The right slab is proposed larger than the left to balance the smaller lower gate on that side.

Dos losas en baldaquino a cada lado de la terraza superior rematan la estructura. La losa de la derecha se propone más extensa que la izquierda para equilibrar el menor tamaño del portón inferior sobre ese lado.

In ground floor, the foyer drives to a horizontal traffic located in the side opposite to the access. The installed stairs of a way perpendicular to the traffic links the foyer with the principal floor. The first level concentrates the social activity exalted by the horizontal window that crosses the plane of front fitting the exterior sights. A group of places of service separates the rooms of the traffic. In the left wing, a stairs of a section drives to the second level, where the terrace garden crowns the building.

The curved plane of the stairs on the left of the façade articulates the main volume with a lower located on the right, where there are service facilities. A low-rise wall located between the two volumes, in front of the curved plane frames the door to the staircase hall.

On the left side, the extension of the rear movement allows the link to the volume perpendicular. Ahead of circulation, curved edge terrace provides the only point of contact between the main lift that body.

The annex pavilion reformulates an old existing building. A dark lining of horizontal slats covering the walls downstairs. Above, the walls of the first floor white stationed themselves the woodwork flush with wall to accentuate the feeling of lightness of the block. Repeated lifting criterion of outgoing plane to prioritize access to a ground floor for local service. Upstairs, the library and games room make up the main spaces.

The elevation repeats the gesture of incorporating a salient plane to organize into a hierarchy the access to a ground floor destined for places of services. On the contrary, the library and the room of games lodged at the high plant compose the principal spaces.

Le Corbusier with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand designed for this work some of the most recognized furniture. Charlotte Perriand’s entry to the study of 35 Rue de Sèvres strengthened reformulation of modern space, established in the search form of equipment compatible with the architecture of Le Corbusier. The swivel chair, the single armchair and chaise longue, were part of the equipment inside the Villa Church. The equipment of the villa was a pilot; these designs were progressed for presentation to the public in the fall of 1929 salon.

The Villa Church, built between 1927 and 1929, was demolished without a date certain in the second half of the twentieth century.

Marcelo Gardinetti, Architect

La Plata, Argentina. september 2013


1 Le Corbusier, obras completas tomo I, 1910 – 1929 pag. 201

2 Photography: ©FLC/ADAGP

Marcelo Gardinetti

No voy a hablar de la penumbra, mejor voy a ver si puedo despertar.

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