Out/About: Pierre Charpin’s L’Appartement 50 at Cité Radieuse
Well its not often we’re speechless but this installation by designer Pierre Charpin in L’Appartement No.50 within Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse really takes your breath away. The exemplary balance between colour and the purest of palettes makes one’s heart sing.
L’Appartement No.50 is one of 337 apartments within Le Corbusier’s concrete dream for a utopian society. As you can image the bones of this building are blue blood modernist, the perfect backdrop to just about anything! Let it be said Pierre Charpin is not just anything. His design sensibility is so honest and intuitive, each piece surprising in it’s exploration of form and materiality. This is no roll-out design family, it is a thoughtful gathering of old friends that sit so comfortably together. Good humoured, robust and dependable, this is a gang you want to hang with.
Charpin has incorporated pieces by his predecessors such as Jasper Morrison, the Bouroullec Brothers and Konstantin Grcic with his own pieces into this domestic theatre. His ‘Playtime’ glass sculptures, ‘Oggetti Lenti’ vases sit and ‘Crescendo’ coffee table have blood ties back to the modernist movement while his suspended ceiling sculptures, ‘Mini Eclipse’ lamp, ‘Stump’ marble side table and ‘Desa’ floor lamp are true contemporaries.
His exquisitely measured layering of the 3D and 2D are heavenly and thanks to the hospitality of No.50’s resident Jean-Marc Drut – a true patron of the arts – this rare intimate gallery is open to the public during the summer months if you are lucky enough to find yourself in Marseille.
The fantasy of setting up a temporary home in the Cité Radieuse, to feel the history of radical and cultured thinking and know that you are following in the truest legacy of our built environment is nothing short of a dream.