Fondation Le Corbusier

“La Roche, someone who has a fine collection like yours needs to build a house worthy of it.” - Le Corbusier

Raoul La Roche During a recent jaunt to Paris, I paid a visit to Maison La Roche; the first of a series of experimental houses designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, in and around Paris during the 1920’s. Set on a modest plot of land at the end of a cul-de-sac located in the 16th arrondissement, Le Corbusier was in fact commissioned to design two houses here in 1923: a house (Maison Jeanneret) for his brother, Albert, and his family along with a combined house and art gallery (Maison La Roche) for his friend and Swiss compatriot, Raoul La Roche.

Raoul La Roche was born in Basel and after training at business school in Neuchâtel, he settled in Paris in 1912 to pursue a career in finance. In 1918, he was introduced to Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, who adopted the name Le Corbusier in 1923, and along with his friend and artist, Amédée Ozenfant, they schooled La Roche in appreciating the purist painting they both championed and were producing themselves at the time. La Roche amassed a formidable collection of modern art, including works by Picasso, Braque and Léger, and commissioned Le Corbusier to design and build him a home that could combine a gallery to house his collection.

Whilst La Roche was quite clearly well-off, he lived a very simple and abstemious way of life and therefore wished for his house to have a discreet and rational aesthetic. He couldn’t have commissioned a better designer.

Maison La Roche - ExteriorMaison La Roche - Exterior 2Maison La Roche is set over three floors:
Ground Floor – Reception Hall, Concierge and Kitchen
First Floor – Dining Room, Picture Gallery, Pantry and Roof Terrace
Second Floor – Library, Dressing Room, Bedroom and Bathroom

Maison La Roche - Interior

Le Corbusier also chose or designed all the furniture contained in the house. Along with the fixed concrete shelving and built-in storage units, his preference for industrially produced objects was revealed with his use of Thonet bentwood chairs (painted grey to match the hulking, industrial radiators) and the tubular Chalier wall lamps that appear throughout. He also designed a series of juxtaposable tables with wooden tops and nickel plated legs that could be used in any room which went on to be known as the ‘La Roche’ tables.

Maison La Roche - Detail

A restoration took place at Maison La Roche in 2009 and whilst this was mainly carried out from a conservation perspective, it was particularly aimed at restituting the original interior colour palette used by Le Corbusier. The use of a polychrome scheme at the time had been experimental but it went on to become a signature of not only the interiors of his future projects but also the facades. Similar tones from this palette can be seen amongst the new selection of enamel finishes that Cassina are producing for the steel frames on the Le Corbusier range of furniture they supply today.

Maison La Roche - Interior 2

Maison La Roche - Interior 3

Cassina have also just released a Limited Edition LC2 ‘Maison La Roche’ Armchair with the enamelled steel frame in a semi-gloss brown colour, Tobacco coloured natural leather upholstery and cushions filled just with feathers (no foam core) providing a very soft and sumptuous seat.

Cassina Limited Edition LC2 ChairAnyone with an interest in Le Corbusier who finds themselves with a couple of hours to spare in Paris should head over to Maison La Roche, which now also houses the headquarters of the Fondation Le Corbusier.

Maison La Roche
10 Square du Docteur Blanche
75016, Paris
Nearest Paris Metro station: Jasmin – line 9

Telephone: +33 (0)1.42.88.75.72
reservation@fondationlecorbusier.fr

Visiting hours:
Monday: 13.30-18.00
Tuesday to Saturday: 10.00-18.00

MYLES BROWN

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Sonia Delaunay retrospective at Tate Modern

Architect Edward Jones was one of Aram Designs’ first customers, buying the Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer, his first piece of modern furniture, from Zeev Aram in his King’s Road store in 1964. Forty years later he was invited to design a rug to form part of Aram’s anniversary collection and told us then ‐ “I have always admired the strong patterns and contrasting colours of the graphic work of Sonia Delaunay. The carpet, which is designed for our new house, is a distant homage to the work of this remarkable woman.”

Rug by Edward Jones

‘Untitled’ – Rug by Edward Jones

This week sees the opening of the first British retrospective at Tate Modern of the work of the abstract painter and designer Sonia Delaunay (1885‐1979). To celebrate this, we are offering 15% off all rug orders until the end of April.

Ukrainian‐born and Paris‐based, Delaunay’s abstract work was across much media – paintings, cushions, lampshades, furniture and clothing. Working with her aristocratic painter husband Robert Delaunay, she explored new ideas about colour theory. She gave up painting when they married taking up needlework and embroidery instead. She started making clothes for them both: dresses for her with geometric shapes in bright, clashing colours which moved with the body, she would wear them tango dancing in the bright lights of nightclubs they visited such as Le Bal Bullier.

After the First World War ended, Delaunay opened a fashion house in Madrid. In Paris, the Simultaneous Studio opened which was dedicated to creating textiles and clothing. A fashion house ‘Sonia’ followed. In 1925 she began working with Metz & Co department store in Amsterdam designing and producing fabrics and homewares, a relationship which would last for many years. Gerrit T Rietveld designer of the graphic Red and Blue chair and Schroeder 1 side table also worked with the department store.

After Robert’s death, Sonia resumed painting in the 1950s using a darker palette of colours with the interlocking zig zag and circular shapes for which she is most famous. In 1964 she was the first female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre.

The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay is at Tate Modern until 9 August.

Our Rug Collection offer continues until 30 April 2015 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Simply use the promo code SONIADELAUNAY in the shopping basket when you have chosen your rug and the discount will be applied.

Kaleidoscope by Sonya Winner

Kaleidoscope Rug by Sonya Winner

 

40 by Peter Blake

40 – Rug designed by Peter Blake

ARAM STORE

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Cane-line Conic Range

A long-standing problem with outdoor furniture is that, in order to acheive the required durability, the level of comfort is often compromised – a tough finish is not necessarily a soft finish. Danish manufacturer Cane-line has at last solved this conundrum.

Cane-line SoftTouch Fabric

Cane-line Core Dining ChairCane-line SoftTouch® is a newly developed fabric made exclusively for Cane-line. A combination of hard-wearing Textilene® and soft Sunbrella®(fabric) – makes a soft yet tough surface. The unique SoftTouch material is mottled grey colour and looks like traditional furniture fabric. The more textured surface raises the level of comfort, while the furniture maintains its weather-proof properties. The fabric enables you to just leave your furniture outdoor with a minimum of maintenance, although we do recommend that you store the product/furniture inside or under a cover during winter.

Rain drys quickly from Cane-line furnitureCombined with Cane-line’s QuickDry foam®, even if the furniture is left outside during a Summer shower, rainwater drains quickly and easily through both the surface textile and the inner cushion – making the chair dry enough to sit on again in only about 20 minutes.

CAne-line Conic and Core range

SoftTouch® is available on the Conic modular sofa, the Conic armchair, the Conic sunbed, the Core lounge and dining chair and the Traveller chair.

ARAM STORE

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Pantone - MarsalaEvery year, Pantone – the world-renowned authority on the communication of colour across a variety of industries – announce their chosen Colour of the Year.  For 2015, the hue scientists at Pantone have chosen ‘Marsala’ as the go-to colour and the rather eloquent reasoning behind this year’s choice is as follows:

“Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.”

Pantone - MarsalaThe effect of Pantone’s annual announcement is felt and normally embraced across the fashion, beauty and interior markets and therefore means that the colour they choose has to offer a certain versatility. After selecting a series of quite bracing and bold colours over the last few years such as ‘Radiant Orchid’, ‘Emerald’ and ‘Tangerine Tango’ for their Couleur de l’Année, Pantone’s choice this year has a more suave and luxurious feel to it than recent offerings and would certainly provide a hearty and rich warmth to any interior scheme.

Arne Jacobsen: Egg Chair
We recently took delivery of a new Egg Chair – currently with 15% off as part of Danish Design Month – for our shop floor display upholstered in a “Marsala” colour inspired fabric… please drop in and see if you have room for this colour in your life until next year.

MYLES BROWN

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Carl Hansen EventThe world-famous CH24 chair – also known as the Wishbone or the ‘Y’ chair on account of the vertical back support – was designed by Hans J Wegner in 1949. The people at Carl Hansen and Son soon realised how visionary and trailblazing this young designer’s simple designs were. In return, Wegner admired the skill and dedication of the craftsmen at the factory. Wegner designed the chair to be beautiful and functional but not easy to make. The delicate taper of all the legs tested the limits of serial production. The joinery was difficult – even a small mistake would compromise structural integrity – but the 100 seperate manual tasks resulted in a strong, lightweight chair. The modern technology of CNC milling machines has speeded up production nowadays. The most physical manual task however is still the weaving of the confortable papercord seat – it takes more than an hour per chair, using 120 metres of twisted papercord – and the process is spectacular to watch.

Carl Hansen Master TechnicianAs part of our Danish Design Month, we will be holding a special workshop with one of Carl Hansen’s master technicians who will be demonstrating how the seat of the famous Wishbone Chair is woven together.  Guests will also be given the opportunity to have a go at weaving a chair seat and put themselves in with a chance of being presented with a special ‘Centenary Edition’ Wishbone Chair in either Berry Red or Anthracite Grey lacquer.

CH24 Wishbone ChairWorkshops will take place on Tuesday 10th March at 1pm, 6pm and 7pm – places are very limited and will be awarded on a lottery basis, one place/person per application. To apply for a place, please email events@aram.co.uk stating your preferred time no later than Wednesday 4th March; we will notify successful applicants on Thursday 5th March.

ARAM STORE

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Danish Design Month

We are very excited to announce that throughout March 2015, Aram will be hosting a number of events and special offers in-store devoted to Danish design and celebrating the strong relationships we hold with five of the most important Danish furniture and lighting brands: Carl Hansen & Son, Fredericia, Montana, Fritz Hansen and Louis Poulsen.

Aram’s long association with modern Danish design stretches back to the 1980s when a friendship was forged between Zeev Aram and the founder of Montana Furniture, Peter J. Lassen.  Their relationship has endured and Aram has always maintained a wide and varied display of the Montana Storage System here at the store.  Carl Hansen & Son and Fritz Hansen, both powerhouses of Danish furniture manufacturing, have also remained a heavy and valued presence on the shop floor over the years; each with a fine pedigree of designs in their stable and the Trinidad Chair, designed by Nanna Ditzel for Fredericia, was also first launched in the UK through Aram upon its release in the early 1990s.  Lighting from the prestigious Louis Poulsen range has illuminated our displays since the beginning with the work of Poul Henningsen in particular becoming a mainstay who undoubtedly produced some of the greatest designs of the 20th century.

Here’s a little taster of what’s to come in March:

In store weaving workshop with Carl HansenWe will be holding a very rare and special workshop with one of Carl Hansen’s master technicians who will be demonstrating how the seat of the famous Wishbone Chair is weaved together.  Guests will also be given the opportunity to have a go at weaving a chair seat and put themselves in with a chance of being presented with a special ‘Centenary Edition’ Wishbone Chair. Click here for info on how to sign up for this special event.

Trinidad Chair from FredericiaThere will be an unveiling of a brand new palette of colours for the Trinidad Chair coupled with a fantastic “4 chairs for the price of 3″ promotion on this classic design from Fredericia.

Series 7 Chair 60th Anniversary

The Series 7 Chair by Arne Jacobsen turns 60 this year and Fritz Hansen have marked this occasion with the launch of two new seat colours and frame finishes that inject a masculine and feminine feel into this iconic design…  We will have examples of these new editions on display as well as offering 15% off all orders for Jacobsen’s legendary Egg Chair.

Montana Storage System

Throughout March, all orders placed in-store for the Montana Storage System will be entitled to a 15% discount.

Copper PH3/2 LampA new limited edition version of Poul Henningsen’s iconic Table Lamp in a copper finish will be available to order (only available until June 2015) and we will be offering a 15% discount on the classic white opaline glass version.

We are holding a launch event with wine and canapés at the Store on Tuesday 3 March between 6pm and 9pm. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by email to events@aram.co.uk

As you can see, March is going to be a busy and exciting month here at Drury Lane and we’ll be posting regular updates on all these events via the usual social media channels so please find/follow us on facebook and twitter to let us keep you informed.

MYLES BROWN

 

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LC Collection 50th Anniversary

This year, 2015, sees the 50th anniversary of Cassina’s production of the iconic LC range of designs by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret. The rights for the designs – created mostly in 1927 and 1928 – had passed to Le Corbusier’s great friend and agent Swiss-born art dealer Heidi Weber in 1959 and the rights to manufacture the designs were granted to Cassina in 1965, shortly before Le Corbusier’s death from a heart attack whilst swimming off Roquebrune Cap Martin – just below Eileen Gray’s famous Villa E1027.

LC2 Chair and LC9 Stool

To celebrate this anniversary, Cassina has introduced technical innovations that make the furniture considerably ‘greener’ than before. They have ceased using hexavalent Chrome plating and replaced it with trivalent chrome plating – a considerably less toxic alternative thanks to lower chromium concentration levels, less air emmisions and consequently less toxic waste.

LC2 Chair

In addition, a revised colour palette of semi-matt lacquer finishes has been introduced based on new scientific evidence from research on the earliest models.

New semi-matt enamel coloursThe LCX range of leathers has now also been made totally organic with outstanding global credentials and the colour palette updated with subtle natural tones. The range of Saddle leather colours for the LC1 Chair has also been extended, from 8 colours to 16, and is also now available on the LC9 Stool – along with a natural woven rattan seat.

LC9 Stool

For example, this image shows the LC2 Chair and the LC2/2 Sofa in the natural earthy tones of ‘Fango’ (Mud) leather 13X418 paired with a ‘Fango’ (Mud) semi-matt enamel frame:

LC2 Chair and LC2/2 SofaOther items in the Collection include:

LC4 Chaise Longue

The LC4 Chaise Longue

LC7 Chair

The LC7 Chair

LC9 Stool

The LC9 Stool also includes a special new presentation box

Contact the store for more information on the new LC50 Anniversary Collection and to see samples of all the updated finishes and colours.

ARAM STORE

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Designer: Poul Kjaerholm

The PK 24 Chaise Longue was finally realised in 1965 and was easily his most graceful and sculptural effort yet. Again, reflecting earlier design periods, the initial concept behind this piece hailed from the Rococo period and the original French ‘Long Chair’. His method of layering elements is present but here they are left independent from each other, with the swooping seat just resting upon the base which allows the seat position to be adjusted along steel runners to suit individual comfort requirements. I think the lines and shapes of the PK 24 conjure up all manner of images in people’s minds but, personally, when facing the profile of this chair, I always see a breaking wave of cane and steel rolling past. Kjærholm often referred to his design as the “Hammock Chair”, to reflect its function of suspending the body between two fixed points. The seat is finished in wicker or leather and the leather head-roll cushion was, again, an independent element which could be adjusted to suit your height by simply dropping or raising the steel counterweight suspended over the rear of the chair by two leather straps.

The PK24 Chaise

The PK 20 Lounge Chair appeared in 1968 and it was to be his first cantilevered chair design. Again, it has a “Miesian” influence within its marrow hailing from the Tugendhat Chair of 1930, yet it also feels like it was a continuation of the fluidity of his own PK 24 design a few years earlier. The seat was offered in cane or formed of a leather slip cover which was pulled over the upright side bars, much like the format of the PK 22 Chair. But, the sprung steel, cantilever frame was a new direction for Kjærholm which seemed so loose and unbound in appearance compared to previous frame structures he had produced. Was there a slight nod to the Bauhaus tutor, Paul Klee, at the drawing board stage by Kjærholm “taking a line for a walk” with his pencil to create those beautiful curling and uninterrupted lines? He also produced a version with a slightly higher back, which also incorporated a roll-cushion head rest, and this model became known as the PK 20 Easy Chair.

Tugendhat chair PK20 chair

Left: Mies van der Rohe’s Tugendhat Chair. Right: the PK20 Chair

Through the 70’s, Kjærholm’s output slowed somewhat compared to the volume of designs he was producing throughout the previous decade. His PK 27 Lounge Chair (with a rare use of maple wood for the frame) picked up two Danish design awards in ‘71 and ‘72 and a cantilevered arm chair (with a return to his material of choice: brushed steel) appeared in ’74 – the PK 13.

PK27 Lounge Chair

The PK27 Lounge Chair

PK13 Cantilever Chair

The PK13 Cantilever Chair

In 1975, Kjærholm was approached by Knud V. Jensen, Director of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, who commissioned him to design seating for a proposed new concert/lecture hall at the museum. The concert hall was to be a square space with raked seating so the passage of the congregation between the rows and the consideration of acoustics was of course vital. Kjærholm worked closely with the architect of the concert hall, Vilhelm Wohlert (who also designed the original museum) and acoustician, Jørgen Petersen, to conjure up a folding seat that would sit comfortably with the white wall and dark mahogany floor scheme. He fought hard to avoid using an upholstered seat because that would of course hide the build of the seat: not his style. So, he developed a simple wooden construction formed of square maple frames for the seat and back which contained strips of woven maple that not only provided a pliant surface for the user but also worked acoustically. The seating was installed in 1976 and Kjærholm duly picked up another award the following year from the Danish Furniture Manufacturers Association for his Louisiana Chair, as it came to be known.

Louisiana Concert Hall Chair

Towards the end of 70’s, whilst still producing work such as a prototype for the PK8 Dining Chair (which eventually reached full production status many years later in 2007) and the PK65 Low Table, Kjærholm’s health began to suffer. In early 1980, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away soon after on the 18th of April at the age of 51.

PK8 Chair PK65 Low Table

Left: the PK8 Chair. Right: the PK65 Low Table

A life cut cruelly short but over that 30 year career span, he has left us a legacy of work that although originally intended to appeal to the masses – financially and aesthetically – has, ironically, vaulted into an exclusive and revered class of its own.

I’ll finish with a quote from the American architect and Poul Kjærholm expert, Michael Sheridan, which very eloquently sums up the ethos behind Kjærholm’s work:

“Like Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways who looked backwards and forwards at the same time, Kjærholm worked on the threshold between two epochs; Danish craftwork and industrial Modernism, straddling the past and the future and making furniture and spaces that have transcended time.”

A big thank you must go out to Janne Nyegaard and Patrick Fairfield from Fritz Hansen for their invaluable assistance and, of course, Michael Sheridan whose book Poul Kjærholm: Furniture Architect has been an invaluable source of reference in compiling this biography.

MYLES BROWN (c) 2014

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Aram Store Winter Sale December 2014The Aram Store Winter Sale will start online on Boxing Day, 26 December, with a 15% discount off all new orders. The Store in Drury Lane will be closed from 6pm on Tuesday 23 December until 10am on Monday 29 December. Click here for more info on our Christmas opening hours.

Big discounts off ex-display itemsIn store from Monday 29 December there will be up to 70% off selected ex-display items of furniture. As always, these are sold as seen on a first-come-first-served basis and are only available in store.

Here is a small selection of these ex-display items – there will be many more available in store:

Analog Table and 81A TableLeft: Analog 245cm dining table by Jaime Hayon in walnut and black lacquer – was £2,072 sale price £1,450.40. Right: 81A dining table by Alvar Aalto in birch – was £988 sale price £296.40.

Tulip Chair Grand Prix Chair Cherner Chair

Left: Tulip side chair by Eero Saarinen in white with various colour seat pads – was £1,199 sale price £839.30. Centre: Grand Prix chair by Arne Jacobsen in walnut, black or grey coloured wood – was from £455 sale price from £227.50. Right: Cherner armchair by Norman Cherner in classic walnut – was £1,061 sale price £795.75.

Shell Chair Drop Chair CH33 ChairLeft: Limited edition CH07 ‘Shell’ chair by Hans Wegner in teak and oak with red Niger leather seat and back – was £3,384 sale price £2,368.80. Centre: Drop chair by Arne Jacobsen in various colours – was £249 sale price £174.30. Right: Set of four CH33 chairs in white pigmented oak with grey Thor leather seats – was £2,148 sale price £1,503.60.

ARAM STORE

 

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The Bauhaus Movement – established in 1919 – was one of the most influential design philosophies of the last century, particularly in the field of furniture design. In this infographic, we describe the key principles and main protagonists of the movement, and its legacy:

The Bauhaus MovementMany Bauhaus designs are still in production today – authorised by the designers’ estates and made in accordance with the original specifications for materials, quality and craftsmanship. For example, works by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, as mentioned above.

ARAM STORE

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