An icon of Art Deco
Imagine having an architectural chef d’oeuvre just around the corner but you aren’t allowed to enjoy it… Luckily this desperate situation is now but a distant memory for us; on June 13 the emblematic Villa Cavrois opened its doors to the public. This art deco icon has come a long way since its early beginnings when it was built in 1932 by Robert Mallet-Stevens as a home for textile industrialist Paul Cavrois, his wife and seven children. Although the family lived in the house until 1987, this iconic house narrowly escaped destruction after years of looting, vandalism and abandonment. Today this building is much like an exquisite ghost in our midst. Classified as a historic monument in 1990 and then purchased by the State in 2001, this edifice required over 12 years of renovation costing 23 million euros, under the aegis of the CMN (National Monument Centre), in order to be transformed back into the “modern chateau” it once was. The result is one of luxury, sobriety and modernity. Robert Mallet-Stevens designed this veritable contemporary castle around the simple concepts of “air, light, work, sports, hygiene, comfort, moderation”. The interior, however, was designed with a very classic layout: the parents’ living quarters were separate from those of the children. The entire property was a work of art, as Mallet-Stevens also designed the furnishings and the surrounding park. This true masterpiece had people talking about it from the moment it was built; it was judged too modern and too luxurious at the time. A few facts and figures? Designed in 1929. Completed in 1932. The main facade measures 60 meters in length. A full 3,800m² of flooring. Some 1,840 m² of living space. Terraces covering 830 m2. No fewer than 23 rooms. Private grounds covering 1.7 hectares (4 acres). A 27-meter long pond. Eighty percent of the wood flooring and 1/4 of the furnishings date from the original house. There are 26 different shapes of yellow bricks making up the construction. OK – that’s enough detail! All that is left is for you to enter this magnificent monument to Art Deco and you can begin to relive a time long gone.
LA VILLA CAVROIS
60 Avenue John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in Croix
03 20 73 47 12
from 10:30 to 18:30 from June to October
from 10:30 to 17:30 from novembre to May
Closed: 1 January, 1 May, 11 November, and 25 December