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La Maison de Verre

Overview

A stunning combination of personal reminiscence and spectacular photographs of this influential modernist masterpiece.

The most celebrated work of French architect and designer Pierre Chareau, the Maison de Verre is revered by experts, acclaimed as an inspiration by many, but until now only glimpsed by a very few.

In 1928, Chareau was commissioned to build this private ...
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Overview

A stunning combination of personal reminiscence and spectacular photographs of this influential modernist masterpiece.

The most celebrated work of French architect and designer Pierre Chareau, the Maison de Verre is revered by experts, acclaimed as an inspiration by many, but until now only glimpsed by a very few.

In 1928, Chareau was commissioned to build this private residence in an eighteenth-century Paris courtyard. Dominique Vellay, the granddaughter of his original client, tells here for the first time the story of this extraordinarily inventive house, an embodiment of modern building principles and methods. Its metal framework, glass-brick curtain walls, and sliding partitions and panels have made a remarkable impression on architects and designers worldwide.

François Halard's photographs pay homage to the house and its unique architectural features: the interior, bathed in daylight gently diffused by the glass walls; perforated zinc screens that rotate or slide silently on curved rails; exposed steel beams; balconies with paneled bookshelves; open-stepped staircases that permit light to penetrate; and—not least—the house's furniture, created by the architect for his clients, and covered with fabrics by eminent contemporary artists and designers. 80+ illustrations in color and duotone.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

From 1928 to 1932, French architect and designer Chareau converted three floors of an 18th-century Parisian townhouse and courtyard into a modern, light-filled residence for author Vellay's grandparents, Annie and Jean Dalsace. Hence, this photographic essay (80 color and b&w photos; three plans) evokes strong personal connections and reminiscences. Vellay's minimal text accompanies photographer Halard's visual tour of translucent walls, mysterious staircases, bookcased balconies, remote-controlled screens that slide on curved rails, and modernist fixtures and furniture-all designed by Chareau. Close-ups highlight furniture details and the interplay of light on exposed metal supports and beams, hammered metal and wood textures, and woven carpets and textiles (many of which were designed by French artist Jean Lurçat). Invisible from the street, La Maison de Verre ("the glass house"), the culmination of Chareau's work as an architect, remains in the Dalsace family and is not open to the public-except, truly, through this work. Highly recommended for comprehensive design and architecture collections.
—Russell T. Clement

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500513040
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 9.96 (w) x 12.34 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Dominique Vellay is a writer and journalist living in Paris. François Halard has published in Vogue, The World of Interiors, Décoration Internationale, and House & Garden. He shares his time between New York and Paris.
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Table of Contents


The Lady of the Maison De Verre     6
The Photographs
The Entrance and Main Staircase     16
The Great Room and Dining Room     38
The Study     62
The Blue Sitting Room     73
The Master Bedroom and Bathroom     84
The Corridor-Gallery and Bedrooms     105
Kitchen     128
The Doctor's Realm     133
The House and its People     144
Pierre Chareau     150
Floor Plans     154
Acknowledgments     160
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