CHARLOTTE PERRIAND AND I
Converging designs by Frank Gehry and Charlotte Perriand
Collateral Event of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
The Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia is pleased to announce the opening of its new exhibition, confronting the foundational works of eminent architects Charlotte Perriand and Frank Gehry. As part of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, this presentation has been produced in the framework of the Fondation Louis Vuitton “Hors-les-murs” programme. This programme, inaugurated in 2014, presents the international projects of the Fondation in the Espaces Louis Vuitton in Tokyo, Venice, Munich, Beijing, Seoul and Osaka, making them accessible to a broader public.
Over the past century, developments in technology have increased the frequency with which we have reimagined the home. Technological advancements, together with changing social values, enabled architects to invent new solutions for the way we live. From industrial to digital technologies, each era has brought forth promises of architecture’s capacity to embody the times by embracing these innovations. Today, amidst an ecological crisis of our own making, we are attempting to house an unprecedented global population within boundaries that are in flux. The Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia presents the work of Charlotte Perriand and Frank Gehry as both historical references and as viable solutions for the issues confronting us today. Two of the projects are exhibited for the first time - Perriand’s Tritrianon project (1937) and Gehry’s Power Pack project (1969).
In their respective times, Perriand and Gehry responded to the ideas of mobility, prefabrication, and efficiency and put forth ideas that redefined the home. At the onset of the last century, modernism took advantage of industrialization to reframe housing as an industrial process. Arguing for improved qualities of life and hygiene, modernist architects used industrial materials to form a new vision of the built environment. From 1934 to 1938, Perriand designed “minimum dwellings” based on modular assemblies that could be mass produced and efficiently constructed. These projects were designed to have a minimal impact on their surroundings, while providing the essential amenities for dwelling. Perriand’s understanding of ergonomics, enabled her to design compact spaces that could accommodate the full range of human positions. Simple and elegant, they were to be built with standardized elements within a system of prefabricated modules. Lightweight, they could be moved and reassembled from one location to another.
The innovations of the space race of the 1960s, enabled increasingly compact and efficient systems for life in space. In 1969, Gehry proposed a transportable self-sufficient dwelling unit. The project envisioned a separation of the “mechanical, electrical, and waste disposal system” from the “shelter.” With the potential to be run on batteries or a single power source, Gehry called the support structure a “power pack.” The architect could design the shelter to suit any taste or housing type, but the power pack could be a constant. Although the idea for the power pack remained an idea, his conceptual separation of the functions of the home into independent rooms, enabled Gehry to initiate his experiments in housing design of the 1970s and ‘80s.
In the context of today’s ecological consciousness, “minimum dwellings” and power pack are precursors to current innovations in independent energy collection and consumption. Their ambition to connect improbable utopian futures with concrete solutions is especially relevant to the real and urgent problems confronting architecture today
Saturday, May 22, 2021 to Sunday, November 21, 2021
Monday to Sunday
from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm.
Open on public holidays. Free entrance.
Saturday and Sunday by appointment
only on www.louisvuitton.com