Called Authentic Wood, the series is part of the Cassina I Maestri collection and draws on furniture Le Corbusier created specifically for his architecture projects, including his own holiday home, the Cabanon, and his iconic Unité d’Habitation housing project in Marseille.
The range features two stools, one created for Le Corbusier's summer home and the other for a university accommodation project, each comprising a rectangular box with dovetail joints at the corners and slots in each side for easy mobility.
Other pieces include a conference table where a network of steel rods support the round oak top, a modular writing desk with open shelves and a coat rack with mushroom-shaped pegs on a black board.
See a 1:1 replica of Le Corbusier’s Cabanon holiday home, designed by the architect for his own use, in our earlier story.
imm Cologne takes place 18-23 January 2011. See all our coverage of the event »
Here are some more details from Cassina:
CASSINA AND LE CORBUSIER: THE CULTURE OF WOOD CRAFTING Cassina presents Authentic Wood: four new projects in wood for the “Cassina I Maestri” Collection.
Paris, 19th October, 2010. Cassina continues its exploration and research of Le Corbusier’s vast collection of work with a study of creations by the great architect and designer during the 1950s. The company presents an exclusive world preview of four new projects for its “Cassina I Maestri” Collection, which join the Le Corbusier Collection originally introduced in 1964.
Philological research has been carried out on each piece, as always working in close collaboration with the Le Corbusier Foundation, with an exacting study of original drawings, sketches and prototypes. Wood is the underlying theme, a material which Le Corbusier - after many years of experimenting with tubular metal – began to use once he had reached full artistic maturity, rediscovering nature and turning his work towards elementary and archetypical items. Cassina takes this opportunity to demonstrate its well-established heritage and experience in carpentry and woodwork, at the heart of the company since its foundation, and to offer an exciting and authentic interpretation of this period in the great master’s design career. These new pieces unite a lucid design approach with a harmonious structure of shapes and surfaces.
The technological and artisanal challenge. Tabouret, Table de Conférence, Table de Travail avec Rayonnages and Portemanteau. These four fascinating items of home living have been painstakingly examined by Cassina in both detail and structural solutions to convey the simplicity and understated elegance of Le Corbusier’s original design. For Cassina, the use of wood as a material has always been synonymous with top quality cabinet making. In the case of these re-editions, such excellence in quality is the result of close attention paid to every stage of production. Cassina selects only the finest wood, which is subject to a careful aging process in the factory’s specialist plant. In this collection, high quality wood such as solid oak and walnut have been used. The minimalism and simplicity of each piece of furniture is emphasised and embellished by intricate workmanship. For example, the dovetail joints on the Tabouret are the result of extremely precise building efforts and a representation of the very best workmanship. Similarly the mushroom-shaped knobs on the Portemanteau coat rack highlight Cassina’s ability to “mould” wood. These results are obtained due to a company structure of industrial scale production built on artisanal expertise. A place in which wood is processed with the help of the most sophisticated machinery, but where the manual skills of each craftsman - developed during a lengthy apprenticeship - are what give true dynamism to every stage of production.
Tailor-made furniture for the contemporary world
The revisited furniture from the archives of Le Corbusier adorns the interiors of some of the designer’s most renowned architectural works; the Maison du Brésil in Paris, l’Unité de Habitation in Nantes-Rezé, l’Unité de Camping and the Cabanon in Roquebrune. Notably, Cassina presented a flawless reconstruction of the Cabanon interiors at the Triennale di Milano in 2006 - an exhibition which was later displayed in Tokyo, Zurich and London. In this series of interior spaces, there is an encounter between Le Corbusier the designer and architect and Le Corbusier the artist, painter and sculptor. As opposed to the extreme rationalism and irreverence of his early work, every piece of furniture here expresses a new and more fluid - even lyrical - sensitivity towards design; a mix of simplicity, severity and emotion.
The Tabouret coffee table /bedside table /stool is inspired by a wooden whisky crate abandoned on the beach and also the boxes used by painters and glass crafters. This is typical of Le Corbusier’s poetic expression in using objet trouvé, which became a dearly retained concept for the designer as years went by. The plasticity of the Escargot and Brésil lamps by Nemo, Cassina’s Lighting Division, gives another example of this creative period and completes the collection.
Le Corbusier’s works during the 1950s, show furniture design as focused more than ever before on fulfilling the needs and desires of the people. Accordingly, Cassina brings these models back to life in total harmony with today’s demands, updating their utility through the use of the most advanced technological solutions. The company’s quest for authenticity comes always via a respectful and highly informed interpretation of each original design so that the final product captures the very soul of the designer’s project and retains the values that make it unique and universal. This philosophy pervades the entire “Cassina I Maestri” Collection.
LC 14 01 Tabouret Cabanon, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin 1952. Le Corbusier – Cassina I Maestri Collection
A solid chestnut stool in natural wood colour with two dimensions and a squared side. Designed for the Cabanon, a place of intense design experimentation where, alongside numerous fixed pieces of furniture, mobile pieces are conceived as boxes. A simple seat that is also very refined, thanks to the dovetail joints which emphasise the links between each solid wood plane. The oblong hole on each side makes the Tabouret particularly easy to handle.
Measurements: 43cm x 27cm x h.43cm
LC 14 02 Tabouret Maison du Brésil, Paris 1959. Le Corbusier – Cassina I Maestri Collection
The Tabouret in its three-dimensional version, designed by Le Corbusier in 1959 for the Maison du Brésil, a university residence in Paris. A stool of understated elegance created in solid, natural coloured oak. Along the two main sides, the oblong openings make it easy to move and the stool can be placed either horizontally or vertically. The exclusive dovetail joint system on the corners emphasises Cassina’s precision and skill in crafting solid wood.
Measurements: 33cm x 25cm x h.43cm
LC 15 Table de Conférence, Atelier Le Corbusier, Paris 1958. Le Corbusier – Cassina I Maestri Collection
Le Corbusier designed a table in 1958, intended for both home décor and conferences, with an organic structure that is also rational at the same time. The key to the project is the use of two geometrical figures set one against the other. The circle is a sturdy horizontal tabletop in oak and the cube is made of steel tubes, which form a weave of perpendicular levels with outstanding aesthetic value. The top is available with a natural matte finish. Legs in lacquered steel in the LC colours (gloss grey, gloss green and matte black).
Measurements: Ø185cm x h.71cm
LC 16, Table de Travail avec Rayonnages, Unité d’Habitation, Nantes-Rezé 1957.
Le Corbusier – Cassina I Maestri Collection There are several versions of this small wooden writing-desk. Here Cassina reinterprets the project created for the children’s bedrooms at the Unités d’Habitation. The design of these spaces and the furniture within them is characterised by close attention to the harmonious organisation of both individual and collective life, with constant reference to the human body through the use of the Modulor visual measure system. The writing-desk is made up of a table top in natural coloured matte oak. The open compartments are equipped with fastened shelves. It is also possible to expand the piece by adding further open elements.
Measurements: 140cm/ 53cm x 70cm+27cm x h.72cm
LC 17 Portemanteau, Unité de Camping, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin 1957.
Le Corbusier – Cassina I Maestri Collection Le Corbusier developed the Portemanteau project for the first time for the Cabanon. This re-edition is the 1957 model designed for the Unités de Camping. In harmony with the many colours of these minimal spaces, which feature all the commodities of a cruise cabin, even the coat rack is coloured. Elements in solid oak resembling mushrooms in matte white, black, red, green and blue are placed at different heights, based upon Modulor visual measures, on an oak panel in matte black.
Measurements: 66.5cm x 60cm x d.7cm/ 11.5cm
|Le Corbusier’s Cabanon|
– the interior 1:1
|Appt 50, Unité d’Habitation by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec||More coverage|
of Cologne 2011