A must-see

article | Reading time5 min

A total work of art

Discover the concept of a total work of art by visiting the villa Cavrois, an artistic and technical manifesto just 20 minutes from Lille!

When Paul and Lucie Cavrois entrusted Robert Mallet-Stevens with the project for their home, the architect was given carte blanche to design and build their main residence. For the first time in his career, the architect created an architectural work in which he imagined and designed every detail. Like a body inseparable from its components, every line, color and shape interacts with its surroundings, elevating the villa to the status of a total work of art.

« Villa de Croix (Nord). Mallet-Stevens, architecte »

© Reproduction Philippe Berthé / Centre des monuments nationaux

Although he called on some of his acquaintances for certain elements (Jean Prouvé for the doors and elevator car, Jacques Le Chevalier and René Koechlin for the vestibule lighting fixtures), Robert Mallet-Stevens remained the sole project manager for the villa Cavrois project, brilliantly orchestrating theharmony of the layouts. From the design of the furniture to the perspectives provided by the windows, every detail contributes to the visual continuity of the visitor experience. In the same way, the lines of the water mirror draw the eye back to the villa's southern façade, constantly playing on the inside-outside relationships of the original project.

Villa Cavrois, rez-de-chaussée, applique du vestibule

© Jean-Luc Paillé / Centre des monuments nationaux

Robert Mallet-Stevens's meticulous choice of materials, colors and furniture silhouettes, depending on the room in which they are housed, creates a diversity of ambiences, each more immersive than the last, inspired by the many artistic currents of the 1930s : Art Deco, De Stijl, Viennese Secession and Bauhaus. Yet he manages to distill an architectural coherence through the interweaving of volumes, the articulation of spaces in relation to circulation routes, and the recurrence of emblematic details such as clocks, radiator covers and the circular enclosure housing the TSF.

Horloge murale

© Colombe Clier / Centre des monuments nationaux

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