Charlotte Perriand’s Meribel Chalet
Late last year we shared new of Charlotte Perriand’s retrospective at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. The exhibition is in its last few weeks now, and there is a small part of the exhibition that was particularly interesting to us, her chalet in Meribel, France.
A known lover of the mountains, back in the 60’s Perriand began to build this chalet on a piece of land gifted to her by Colonel Peter Lindsay (a fascinating man himself who was credited for discovering Meribel as it is known today as such a famous winter sports location). Close by in Les Arcs, Perriand also continued to design several large complexes over the course of 20 years. Perriand became one of the early pioneers of the resort have grasped very early on at the attractiveness and potential of the area.
The chalet is set on two levels of around 40 square metres, each floor with a kitchen and bathroom to make the spaces independent, for herself and for her daughter Pernette.
On the ground floor, a living space is organised around a fireplace corner against the wall opposite the bay window and whose floor is slightly lower. The difference in level divides the space without reducing the volume of the room. On the ground, at the junction, a large piece of free-form wood serves as a bench without creating a break.
The first floor above, further expresses this notion of privacy through a system of closed beds reminiscent of rural housing in the 19th century; these allow both to conserve heat and to insulate.
One of the two beds, intended for her daughter, is in the extension of the fireplace and the kitchen, and each of these elements can be in turn concealed by a sliding partition which unfolds on almost any the width of the building: a flexible space, almost empty, the centre of the room being covered with rice straw mats evoking a traditional Japanese house.
Only a large wooden table and a bench are leaning against a wall covered with juxtaposed wooden slats letting in the heat of a radiator thus concealed. The multiple design solutions for the chalet demonstrate a desire to rethink domestic uses and initiate a new, deeply human art of living, completely forward thinking.
Photography / Fred Lahache
This is a private property, closed to the public.
Nicky’s World January 2020