La Maison au Bord de l’Eau, a low-cost vacation home | Charlotte Perriand
Influential architect and designer Charlotte Perriand conceived La Maison au Bord de l’Eau in 1934 for an architectural competition to design a low-cost vacation home for the masses. Though she took second prize, her design was apparently ahead of its time. While the judges liked it, the working class families for which it was intended did not. She produced variations of the beach house for wealthy clients, but her original design was not built until 80 years later.
When fashion house Louis Vuitton created a clothing line inspired by Perriand, they decided to bring one of her unrealised works to life, and La Maison au Bord de l’Eau was selected. The house was prefabricated in Italy, shipped to Florida and unveiled on a Miami beach for the Design Miami/2013 international design show.
The house is comprised of two wings facing each other across a sailcloth-shaded terrace. The kitchen, dining and living areas are on one side, with two bedrooms and the bathroom opposite. All the rooms open to the terrace with sliding glass doors, epitomizing the concept of indoor-outdoor living. With the terrace serving as a hallway, the need for inside circulation space is minimized.
The furnishings are reproductions of pieces also designed by Perriand in the 30’s and 40’s. To free up floor space during the day, the beds can slide partway into recesses below the closets. If the bedroom closets had been built back to back, there would be enough room to completely conceal a guest bed below.
To keep the house economical to build, Perriand designed the two wings as simple shed-roof structures. Each is small enough for easy transport by truck if they are prefabricated off-site.
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