Azara Blog: Robert Mallet-Stevens exhibition in Paris

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Date published: 2005/06/12

2005 seems to be the year to remember Robert Mallet-Stevens, a French architect of the first half of the twentieth century. (He is not in the same league as Le Corbusier, mainly because the latter was a more successful self-publicist.) The main event of the year is a (wonderful) exhibition of his work at the Beaubourg (Pompidou Centre) in Paris. This included a publication of his "complete works". There are only twenty or so of his buildings still extant. He had lots of unrealised projects, and some of his most interesting buildings were at the Paris expositions of 1925 and 1937, so temporary. He also did many film sets (but will not be much remembered in history for that).

Several of his buildings have been restored in the last ten years or so: Villa Noailles in Hyères, Maison (and Atelier) Barillet in Paris, and (all in suburbs of Paris) Maison Collinet in Boulogne-Billancourt, Maison Trapenard in Sceaux and Maison Auger-Prouvost in Ville d'Avray (these also go by the name "Hôtel" or "Villa" instead of "Maison"). Another building is in the process of being renovated: Villa Cavrois in Croix near Lille (estimated cost is over 6m Euros, paid for by the French government).

And one of his buildings, the Villa Poiret in Mézy-sur-Seine (about 25 km from Paris), needs some serious restoration. This is a beautiful house in splendid isolation on top of a hill with grand views (all the way to the Eiffel Tower), with grounds of perhaps a few hectares. (Unfortunately the towns in the local area do not look very salubrious.) The villa was bought by an industrialist in 1999, after ten years or more of neglect, and so far not much seems to have been done to improve the situation except not to allow it to get worse.

A list of his extant houses in France (many no longer residential, all but two in or near Paris):

(There is also an apartment block at 7 rue Méchain, 14e, Paris, 1928-1929.)

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