Maison de Verre
La Maison de Verre was built between 1928 and 1932 in Paris, France. It really is an interesting reform of a house between medianeras, of several plants. That was locked in a courtyard block, located at 31 rue Saint Guillaume in Paris (France).
Its authors were Pierre Chareau (designer of furniture and interiors), Bijvoet Bernard (a Dutch architect who worked in Paris since 1927) and Louis Dalbet (metallurgical craftsman). The importance of this building is its immediate connection to standards that have been maintained in many cases until today. It is designed emphasizing three fundamental features: the sincerity of the materials, the variable transparency of the forms and the juxtaposition of the industrial materials.
For this, a complete decoration was created that supposed a contrast by traditional, in comparison with the skin that covered it. The primary materials used were steel, glass and glass bricks. Among the most notable “industrial” pieces are rubber floor tiles, exposed steel beams, perforated sheet metal, heavy industrial lighting fixtures and mechanical accessories.
Much of the intricate landscape of the house was designed as the project was built. The external shape is defined by walls of translucent glass blocks. Certain areas of smooth glass transparently and internally, the spatial division is variable. Sliding, folding or rotating doors were used on glass, sheet metal or perforated metal screens, or in combination. Other mechanical components included a car that goes from the kitchen to the dining room, a retractable staircase from the living room to Mrs. Dalsace’s private room and complex bathroom cabinets and accessories. As we see, certain futurism inherited from Dadaism assaults us.
Two stories assail us as curious. Initially, the project envisaged the complete demolition of the building. However, an elderly woman who lived on the third floor refused to leave her residence, which caused only the two lower floors to be demolished and the upper floor remained. It was a setback to have to solve simultaneously two problems: on the one hand build the new building under what remained without causing structural damage to the upper floors. Second illuminate the interior of the new home, which by its narrowness and location in the courtyard of apple suffered from lack of natural light.
The second, of greater depth, supposes the possible connection, between the Maison de Verre and Paul Scheerbart. In a text of 14 related the way of living and understanding culture as a whole with interconnection with architecture. “To raise our culture to a higher level, we are obliged, whether we like it or not, to change our architecture”. For this he invited us to change the “current character of closure” of our rooms, bypassing their limits. For this, the architecture of glass was necessary. Which is interconnected with “the light of the Sun, the Moon and the celestial bodies”.
In a wonderful text by Alfonso Díaz Segura, he writes about this aspect.
“Light has always played an essential role in the definition of the architectural form, the silent presence of light has materialized volumes and dematerialized spaces, the immense Mediterranean luminosity enhanced the massiveness of classical architecture while the dim Nordic light created an atmosphere halfway between heaven and earth inside the Gothic cathedrals. ”
Díaz Segura, reflects, on the importance in the domain and use of light in modern architects. How it looks in the work of Tadao Ando or Le Corbusier. Being the element that causes the overcoming of the classic concept of spaces. It is true that he can not establish a direct relationship between the Maison de Verre and the text commented by Scheebart “Glasarchitektur”. If we reflect on it, what better example than this construction to live in a “veiled light” and how from the inside we relate to the outside. Transforming the uses, objects and uses of our home.
It is also important to see the importance of this house in modern architecture. It was the first that I use this glass shift in Paris and the great Le Corbusier did not perform actions with it until a year later at the Armee du Salut, or four later, in 1932, at the Maison Clarté.
In any case, it is a beautiful example. Even today it continues to influence us, in interiors and exteriors of buildings. An example of this is the beautiful “Japanese Garden” that the architect Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP built for a building in Hiroshima.