Publication: La villa Cavrois
by Richard Klein, Paris, Éditions du Patrimoine, 2015
A masterpiece of 20th-century architecture designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens between 1929 and 1932, the Villa Cavrois has an eventful history before its restoration and opening to the public in 2015.
The man who commissioned it, Paul Cavrois, a well-established industrialist from northern France, wanted a residence large enough to house his family and servants. His meeting with Robert Mallet-Stevens was to make his project an object-manifesto, an ocean liner rising on the heights of Roubaix, in a striking contrast with the neighbouring traditional bourgeois houses. Mallet-Stevens mastered all aspects of the design: the silhouette and geometry of the villa: the simple, yet luxurious furniture, the material chosen specifically for each room-marble and precious woods in the reception areas and tiles in sober colours in the bathrooms and kitchen –the lighting fixtures, the heating and sound systems.
Occupied during the Second World War, sold by the heirs in the mid-1980s, abandoned and vandalised, the villa was purchased in 2001 by the French state, which decided to undertake its complete restoration. The work carried out –overseen by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux since 2012– had only one objective: to re-establish the villa’s original splendour. Now open to the public, the Villa Cavrois is one of Mallet-Stevens’ most beautiful creations, as well as a milestone in history of modern architecture.
Texts in French, English and Dutch.