When Charlotte Perriand (1903 – 1999) created her winning project for a prefabricated holiday home for the working-classes, little did she know that she would have to wait 80 years for it to gain the recognition it deserved.
La Maison au Bord de l’Eau was designed in 1934 and was first conceived for a design contest held by L’architecture d’aujourd’hui magazine with the aim of creating a simple and economical form of holiday lodging for the mass market.
On show during Art Basel in Miami Beach 2013, Perriand’s fluid, meticulously functional design was the talking point of the show and sponsored by Louis Vuitton, La Maison au Bord de l’Eau (house by the water), which was built on the beach outside the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach, most probably now sees Perriand dancing in her grave!
Perriand’s son-in-law, Jacques Barsac, explains in a interview with Whitewall, how the wooden and aluminium beach house emphasizes ”a free relationship to the body, and a relationship between what’s outside and what’s inside,” adding that it is a ”system for contemplating nature.” When the design was first shown, ”No one was interested in building it. The reaction was one of dislike to horror,” Pernette, Perriand’s daughter, claims in an interview with Wallpaper.
Free of unnecessary flourishes, La Maison au Bord de L’Eau space demonstrates how maximum efficiency can be both soothing and timeless.