The studio-house

We're looking for : real painting studio

1936 :

The French painter Jean Lurçat is on holiday on the Waldensian Riviera with his wife, who regularly frequents the shop of the fashion designers Alfonsina and Pietro De Grandi, parents of Italo and Vincent.

Seeing the paintings of these two talented young artists who were enraged by painting, Jean Lurçat decided to invite them to Paris to help him create a whole series of tapestry cartoons for the 1937 International Exhibition of Arts and Techniques.

The two brothers thus worked for two years in Paris, in real painting workshops, with high ceilings and a large glass roof to the north, for constant natural light.

Jean-Lurçat_1926

Jean Lurçat in his workshop in Paris in 1926

As a painter, Jean Lurçat distinguished himself in a wide variety of fields: fresco, stained-glass, ceramics or as a theatre decorator and tapestry painter (painting on tapestry cardboard destined to be woven).

We're looking for : real painting studio

1936 :

The French painter Jean Lurçat is on holiday on the Waldensian Riviera with his wife, who regularly frequents the shop of the fashion designers Alfonsina and Pietro De Grandi, parents of Italo and Vincent.

Seeing the paintings of these two talented young artists who were enraged by painting, Jean Lurçat decided to invite them to Paris to help him create a whole series of tapestry cartoons for the 1937 International Exhibition of Arts and Techniques.

The two brothers thus worked for two years in Paris, in real painting workshops, with high ceilings and a large glass window to the north, for constant natural light.

Jean-Lurçat_1926

Jean Lurçat in his workshop in Paris, in 1926.

As a painter, Jean Lurçat distinguished himself in a wide variety of fields: fresco, stained-glass, ceramics or as a theatre decorator and tapestry painter (painting on tapestry cardboard destined to be woven).

1938 :

Back in Vevey in their parents' apartment, no high ceilings or large glass window in the North...

So they start looking for a plot of land to build a painting studio, and get back in touch with the architect. Alberto SartorisThey met during two group exhibitions at the Jenisch Museum in Vevey, in which they participated in 1933 and 1938.

As the project was being developed, it seemed obvious to them to add a minimal housing unit to the studio volume - according to the canons of modern architecture of the time.

Now habitable, this project changes its destiny to become both the studio of the two painters and the home of the d'Italo family, who have just married Elisabeth Huguenin, also an artist and former student of Casimir Reymondat the School of Drawing and Applied Art in Lausanne.

Albert_Sartoris_1934

Alberto Sartoris with the model of the house for Roman Brum in 1934

Born in Turin in 1901, Alberto Sartoris, theorist and professor, is a pioneer of modern architecture. Trained at the Geneva School of Fine Arts, he came into contact with the international avant-garde, in particular with the Italian futurist F.T. Marinetti in 1921. With Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Robert Von der Mühll among others, he founded the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) at La Sarraz in 1928.

1938 :

Back in Vevey in their parents' apartment, no high ceilings or large glass window in the North...

So they start looking for a plot of land to build a painting studio, and get back in touch with the architect. Alberto SartorisThey met during two group exhibitions at the Jenisch Museum in Vevey, in which they participated in 1933 and 1938.

As the project was being developed, it seemed obvious to them to add a minimum housing unit to the volume of the workshop - according to the canons of modern architecture of the time.

Now habitable, this project changes its destiny to become both the studio of the two painters and the home of the d'Italo family, who have just married Elisabeth Huguenin, also an artist and former student of Casimir Reymondat the School of Drawing and Applied Art in Lausanne.

Albert_Sartoris_1934

Alberto Sartoris with the model of the house for Roman Brum in 1934

Born in Turin in 1901, Alberto Sartoris, theorist and professor, is a pioneer of modern architecture. Trained at the Geneva School of Fine Arts, he came into contact with the international avant-garde, in particular with the Italian futurist F.T. Marinetti in 1921. With Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Robert Von der Mühll among others, he founded the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) at La Sarraz in 1928.

Preliminary sketches

For the architect Alberto Sartoris, it is not just a house but a building that combines two functions: a painter's studio and his home.

Thus, at the beginning of the project process in Corsica, the requirement to have two programmes cohabit guided the drawing of the first sketches where the architect explored the possible articulations of elementary volumes.

A-Sartoris_Sketches

1st preliminary draft

These studies resulted in a first preliminary project characterized by two prisms with an almost square base that penetrate each other, but are distinguished in elevation by their different heights. An elongated space, oriented east-west, connects the functions and distributes the paths without being readable from the outside.

A-Sartoris_1st-Project

2nd draft project

Sartoris then developed variations which, passing through the intermediate stage of a second preliminary draft, resulted in the completed project. The principle of subtraction guided this development work, in the search for a single solution, while retaining the two functions assigned to two separate volumes. The intermediate project has not yet reached this stage, due to the lack of a highly articulated plan and a section that is only compact in appearance.

A-Sartoris_2nd-Project

Project built in 1939

Only the third solution will manifest the principles of rationality and functionality in the composition of volumes as well as in the distribution of functions.

Job-site_northwest
View of the site from the north-west
A-Sartoris_project-build-North
Northwest Axonometry
A-Sartoris_Project-Build-South
Southeast Axonometry
Vincent-Italo-Alberto_1939
Vincent, Italo and Alberto under construction
A-Sartoris_Photo-built-south
View from the southeast in 1939

Subsequent extensions

1942 :

After the birth of their eldest daughter Vincente and their son Pierre, Italo and Elisabeth decide, without consulting Alberto Sartoris, to create an additional room. This south-east wing will be accessible using the 4th glass panel in the central hall.

Extension_Southeast_Wing
Southeast_wing

Subsequent extensions

1942 :

After the birth of their eldest daughter Vincente and their son Pierre, Italo and Elisabeth decide, without consulting Alberto Sartoris, to create an additional room. This south-east wing will be accessible using the 4th glass panel in the central hall.

Extension_Southeast_Wing
Southeast_wing

1954 :

After the birth of their second daughter Laure, and then of their youngest son François, Italo and Elisabeth decided, on their own initiative, to enlarge the kitchen, and to convert the space between it and the South-East Wing into a maid's room.

This north-east extension is accessible directly from the central hall through a new glass door.

Extension_north-east
Extension_north-east

1954 :

After the birth of their second daughter Laure, and then of their youngest son François, Italo and Elisabeth decided, on their own initiative, to enlarge the kitchen, and to convert the space between it and the South-East Wing into a maid's room.

This north-east extension is accessible directly from the central hall through a new glass door.

Extension_north-east
Extension_north-east

1986 :

Alberto Sartoris comes back to see the studio house. He walks around the house quietly, sits down to have a cup of coffee prepared for him by Vincente, Italo's eldest daughter, and says:
"I'm happy! «

Extensions made without consulting him are therefore approved by the master .

2004 :

The house-workshop is classified as a level 2
historical monument - regional importance.

1986 :

Alberto Sartoris comes back to see the studio house. He walks around the house quietly, sits down to have a cup of coffee prepared for him by Vincente, Italo's eldest daughter, and says, "I'm happy! «

Extensions made without consulting him are therefore approved by the master .

2004 :

The house-workshop is classified as a level 2 historical monument of regional importance.

Emblem of the International Style

2005 :

Pierre, son of Italo, in collaboration with the architect Stéphane Link from La Tour-de-Peilz, carries out the maintenance, refreshment and updating of the building, under the watchful eye of the Service des Monuments Historiques.

Kitchen and shower rooms are modernised, the maid's room on the ground floor becomes a bathroom accessible from the south-east wing, which itself has become a "Master Bedroom".
The original colours of the walls, doors and woodwork have been restored.

The house is then put up for rent.

Update 2005
The Workshop updated in 2005
Update 2005
The Workshop updated in 2005

2017 :

Pierre and François, architect and son of Italo, with the collaboration of the architect Pascal Grand from Cully, carry out the few modifications required by the change of use of the building from a residential to a public place - the L'Atelier De Grandi museum, inaugurated in September 2017.

The block of kitchen cupboards is removed to give visitors direct access to the reception area in the kitchen, whose furniture is hidden by a curtain. The double glazed door to the south of the hall is replaced, as it must open outwards to provide an adequate escape route for the public.

Museum 2017
Inauguration of the Workshop in 2017
Museum 2017
Inauguration of the Workshop in 2017

2018 :

The museum presents the architecture exhibition " Inhabiting Modernity "produced by the Archives de la Construction Moderne and Archizoom of the EPFL. The house-studio plays the double role of museum and architectural work. Visitors experience the space directly, beyond the plans, drawings, models and photographs presented.

The exhibition shows that the house-studio, designed by the architect Alberto Sartoris, is part of the "International Style", an architectural movement named by the historian Henry-Russel Hitchcock (1903 - 1987) and defined by the following principles:

  • the search for harmonious compositions by means of simple geometrical rules (refusal of odonnance - symmetrical - imposed by the École des Beaux-Arts)
  • clear legibility of the functions, from the inside and the outside
  • the aboltion of the brought back decoration
  • the exaltation of elementary surfaces and volumes
  • the adoption of rational manufacturing processes and the use of the new materials of the time

The house-workshop, embodies these principles in an exemplary manner and remains to this day an emblematic architectural object of the International Style.

Exhibition Living in Modernity
International Style: the staircase
Exhibition Living in Modernity
International Style: the staircase

2018 :

The museum presents the architecture exhibition " Inhabiting Modernity "produced by the Archives de la Construction Moderne and Archizoom of the EPFL. The house-studio plays the double role of museum and architectural work. Visitors experience the space directly, beyond the plans, drawings, models and photographs presented.

Exhibition Living in Modernity

The exhibition shows that the house-studio, designed by the architect Alberto Sartoris, is part of the "International Style", an architectural movement named by the historian Henry-Russel Hitchcock (1903 - 1987) and defined by the following principles:

  • the search for harmonious compositions by means of simple geometrical rules (refusal of odonnance - symmetrical - imposed by the École des Beaux-Arts)
  • clear legibility of the functions, from the inside and the outside
  • the aboltion of the brought back decoration
  • the exaltation of elementary surfaces and volumes
  • the adoption of rational manufacturing processes and the use of the new materials of the time


The house-workshop, embodies these principles in an exemplary manner and remains to this day an emblematic architectural object of the International Style.

International Style: the staircase

Source:
exhibition catalogue " Inhabiting Modernity "of 2018