Minimalism Meets Louis Vuitton

Text: Stavrianna Staratzi


Design Miami 2013: a once unrealized beach house designed by architect Charlotte Perriand in 1934 has been constructed and furnished by French fashion house Louis Vuitton.

Charlotte Perriand was, among other things, a great architect, designer, planner and photographer. She was also one of the first successful female designers of the early modern movement whose creativity was recognized amongst her peers and the likes of the great architect Le Corbusier. In 1934 she designed and pre-fabricated a holiday home for a design contest held by L’architecture d’aujourd’hui magazine. Despite winning second prize the beach house was never built and did not receive the critical acclaim it deserved until eighty years later.


A curious traveler, she took inspiration from all over the world, but also from her friends and colleagues. Such was the case with painter Fernand Léger – being greatly influenced by him, her work is marked by the concept she called a “synthesis of the arts” (synthèse des arts) and the determination to share progress with those she encountered through her chosen field of creativity and communication: the home. Today the little house, constructed in the garden of The Raleigh Hotel on Miami’s South Beach, is elevated above the sand by wooden cuboids and accessed by a ramp at the back.

Indeed, Charlotte Perriand’s studies now prove quite contemporary, as wooden architecture too has advanced in the world of architecture.

Perriand is considered to be a key figure of the 20th century modernist movement and it is contributing to her legacy that this legendary, yet never executed, project is now a standing structure.


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