ÉCAL students revamp apartment N°50 of Cité Radieuse
When Jean-Marc Drut and Patrick Blauwart renovated their apartment in Le Corbusier’s classic , they felt the urge to show the space in its full glory to the public. Instead of the self-evident solution of turning it into a museum, they took a more perceptible way to showcase the possibilities and features of the flat. Since 2008, each year a different designer is invited to Apartment No. 50 to investigate the space and to reinterpret the 20th century classic to today's standards. Participants so far included Jasper Morrison, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, and last year’s Pierre Chapin, who passed the role to ÉCAL students for the 2015 installation. The current line-up is novel not only because it involves young talents instead of the settled big names of the industry, but also because it is the first group show in the history of the project.
The work started in last September when students moved in the house for a few days, to experience firsthand what it means to live there on a day-by-day basis. Corbusier himself thought of the house as “a machine to live in”, so unveiling its functionalities and mechanisms was crucial for the designing process. For the summer presentation, the students returned with a set of furniture and accessories that intend to improve and ease life in the apartment.
A fan, a rotating lamp, multi-purpose cushions, folding chairs and tables, and a picnic box were designed amongst others, all focusing on mobility and making sharing the livingspace between the apartment and on the rooftop terrace easier. The show is on display between July 4-19 and is accompanied by a 52-page publication describing the project.
Photos: Michel Bonvin
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