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Product description

Architonic ID 1553032
Order number 35
Year of Launch 2018
Year of Design 1959

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A faithful reconstruction of a room from the Maison du Brésil (1959).
For a limited edition set of furniture for collectors.
A house for students, a Lucio Costa project developed by Le Corbusier.

In the early 1950s the Brazilian government planned the construction of a ‘Brazil house’ to host around 100 students as well as Brazilian teachers, academics and artists in the international university city of Paris. The project was entrusted to Brazilian architect Lucio Costa, known for his town-planning scheme for Brasilia. As Costa wasn’t French he was invited to choose a Parisian architect for the project; he chose Le Corbusier, of whom he was a disciple and a great admirer. In 1953/4 Le Corbusier’s studio, at the time directed by André Wogenscky, began working on the project, changing some of its key details such as the orientation of the building and the concept for the ground floor, as well as proposing a concrete structure as opposed to a steel one. The suggested changes had created tension which Wogenscky sought to smooth over on several occasions by writing to Costa, explaining the reasons for the alterations in an attempt to come to an agreement. But no common solution could be found to their differing viewpoints. Lucio Costa gradually distanced himself from the project before eventually leaving it completely in the hands of Le Corbusier. The involvement of Charlotte Perriand for the interiors, her final project with Le Corbusier. The project for the interiors also saw an exchange of different ideas before a final solution was settled on. In February 1956, Le Corbusier had designed a furnished room for students that featured a wardrobe with sliding doors, a bed with metal feet and a desk with a tabouret stool for a seat. Alongside this was Costa’s proposal which involved the use of tubular steel furniture from the programme of Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret (1928-29), but this turned out to be a dead end due to the difficulty of reproducing it. Heidi Weber proposed this furniture once more in 1959 and it was revisited by Cassina from 1965. By 1958 the question of the furniture had become urgent: 90 single rooms and 5 double rooms needed furnishing. Costa urged Le Corbusier to involve Charlotte Perriand giving her the job of “purchasing or having furniture, curtains, lights etc. made”.
Galérie Steph Simon, founded in 1956 and manufacturers of Charlotte Perriand’s furniture in the past, was chosen and developed an offer on the basis of the joint designs by the two architects, to which Costa gave his blessing. Compared with Le Corbusier’s original design, the final solution had a number of variations that represented a cross between Charlotte Perriand’s design lexicon and the principles of the maestro. The wardrobe as the principal element in the organisation of space. The wardrobe divided the entrance area and bathroom block (consisting of a sink and a wall-mounted shower) from the bedroom and study area. Le Corbusier’s first proposal consisted of a wardrobe with two sliding doors that he had designed several years before for the Cabanon, his summer retreat, and
used widely in the Unité d’habitation project in Marseille. The final version, however, was strongly influenced by Charlotte Perriand’s studies and proposed a number of details that she had already employed in her own creations. The theme of the streamlined organisation of space and furniture was regarded as fundamental by Perriand, a way of making life easier particularly in modern homes with their smaller dimensions. Rationally subdivided and accessible from various sides, the wardrobe is equipped on one side with a metal clothes hook, with coloured plastic trays of different heights and depths for storing away clothes, and with a compartment closed by two sliding doors. The short front side, opposite the side against the wall, has an open compartment divided by bookshelves.
The opposite side, which acts as a headboard for the bed, is a large colour backdrop, to create a degree of continuity with the wall, or in natural oak. Here there is an inbuilt square bedside niche with a linoleum surface and a lamp. The bare essentials.

The final project for the bed was also different to the original idea. The final choice was a minimalist solid wood bed with a mattress and a roll pillow, as opposed to a bed with a metal structure. The room’s furnishings comprise two other elements: a wooden wall bookcase/blackboard in the study and work area and a desk with a wooden top and metal frame, also equipped with four coloured plastic trays. The only element that remained unchanged from the original project was the practical and multifunctional wooden tabouret stool. Reedited by Cassina in 2010, it is made from solid oak with two oblong openings on the two main sides which make it easier to move and allow it to be positioned both horizontally and vertically.

The Maison du Brésil, a reference point for modern architectural heritage, was opened on 24 June 1959. A sample room still exists today, emphasising the importance that this furnishing project had for the community. Cassina proposes just 30 ensembles with all of the furniture from the single room. To mark the 2018Design Week, Cassina reconstructs the interiors of the single room of the Maison du Brésil to present a complete limited edition set of furniture, which includes: the wardrobe with coloured trays, lamp and clothes stand; the bed with mattress and headrest; the writing desk with trays; the blackboard with shelves; the tabouret.

These sets, available in two versions, 15 with the bedhead side painted white and 15 in natural oak, are numbered in sequence.
The bed, desk and clothes hook will also be available separately in the catalogue together with the tabouret stool which is already in production.


35 Maison du Brésil

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