Tout Lyon par Philippe JAYET

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Tout Lyon

Raphael Armand : a light archaeologist.

As a specialist in Art Deco and modern(30s) lightnings, Raphaël Armand has just achieved chandeliers and wall-sconces for Robert Mallet-Stevens’ work, villa Cavrois , in Croix(a town near Lille, northern France)
Villa Cavrois (2500m2), built in 1932, is a genuine masterpiece of modernist architecture. Villa Cavrois suffered from WWII : German Army settled in, then the Liberation mouvements left the mansion wrecked. After a short re-establishment, it was abandoned. In 1990, Villa Cavrois was was listed as a historic monument and eventually in 2001 was purchased by the French State. This grand home was later abandoned and subsequently vandalised. To bring the villa Cavrois to its initial exceptional architectural and aesthetic state was a vast project. In 2003, its restoration (Béatrice Grandsard, Goutal agency) started including almost every trades ; it involved considerable investment : a global amount estimated at 23 million euros.
Raphaël Armand (Lyon)answered to the tender offer and was chosen. His mission statement : original lightings of the house had completely disappeared, he had to manufacture identically each feature. Raphael Armand is pictured as a Xxth century archaeologist : to achieve his mission, he had inquired for 3 years through France, Belgium, Germany and United States to find ancient documents : he managed to work out clocks, barometers and the entire illumination of the house.
Villa Cavrois is a laboratory of architecture and light. Robert Mallet Stevens trusted the lighting engineer André Salomon whose talent inflected the functional diffusion of light on the colors of painted walls. Illumination of the villa has been restored following the XXIst century power standards standards ( with Yannick Monchanin ‘s help). The resultat is stunning : during the visit we dive back in 1932.
The villa will open to the public on 13th of June 2015.

Philippe JAYET - Tout Lyon -Les affiches Lyonnaises Juin 2015

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