Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have chosen an unusual location to show their furniture collections this summer - a lived-in apartment in Le Corbusier's iconic Unité d'Habitation in Marseille.
'It all started early this year, when Jasper Morrison introduced us to the owners of one of the apartments in the housing block,' say the Breton-born brothers. 'We decided to feature a selection of objects from our collection of designs which seemed to rightly fit in this apartment and match the way the owners live in it.'
The Bouroullecs have fitted out Apartment 50 with furniture that corresponds to each room's function. 'As an echo to Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé's original furniture in the space, it seemed natural to us to articulate the remodelling around our 'Steelwood' collection for Magis - including a table, some chairs and a shelving system,' they explain. Le Corbusier's interest in tapestries is acknowledged in their 'Clouds' installation, designed for Kvadrat, which hangs on the wall. Also on show are some of their latest lighting designs, like the 'Lampalumina' for Bitossi and 'Lighthouse' for Established & Sons and Venini.
Unité d'Habitation in Marseille - also known as Cité Radieuse - is one of Le Corbusier's most influential buildings, finished in 1952. The giant, 12-storey apartment block is one of a series built by the architect in response to post-war housing shortage. Pre-cast apartment units were slotted into its rectilinear, raw concrete grid like bottles into a rack. Apartment 50 is open until 15th August.
Unité d'habitation Le Corbusier
Appartment 50, 5ème rue
280 boulevard Michelet
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Malaika Byng is an editor, writer and consultant covering everything from architecture, design and ecology to art and craft. She was online editor for Wallpaper* magazine for three years and more recently editor of Crafts magazine, until she decided to go freelance in 2022. Based in London, she now writes for the Financial Times, Metropolis, Kinfolk and The Plant, among others.
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