Lighting fixtures, clocks of the Villa Cavrois of ROBERT MALLET STEVENS

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"Mansion for a large family. Mansion for a family 1934’s family : air, light, work, sport, saving ; that was the plan”
Robert Mallet Stevens, 1932, Une Demeure

This restoration has been led by Centre des Monuments Nationaux. Since 2012, Villa Cavrois has benefited from the global program "Iconic Houses" working for the preservation of emblematic houses of the twentieth century.

The Tigralite : A ©Villa Cavrois plafonnier "Tigralite" d' André Salomon.Réalisation R.Armand-B.Grandsard pour V.Cavrois 2015
Lighting fixtures, clocks and barometers have been specifically manufactured by RAL for Villa Cavrois. Reaching the final result has first required an accurate study of lighting in Europe in the 30s, then an investigation to discover the manufacturing technique and to find out what kind of materials were used during the building.

Creating such objects involves a full analysis of the technical and stylistic context of architectural history. In 1929, Robert Mallet Stevens, founded the UAM (Union of Modern Artists). During the building, he was in contact with many vanguard crafstmen, thinkers and architects. : Francis Jourdain, Andre Lurcat, René Herbst, G. Guévrékian, Ch Moreux, Walter Gropius, Theo Van Doesburg ....each one of those "moderns" had a theory upon rational lighting.

"Being closer to their theories to fit to the aesthetics and to the criteria of Modernist mind. "

Lighting theorists such as Jean Dourgnon and Andrew Solomon, also members of the UAM, closely worked with Robert Mallet Stevens. Through reading and analysis of archival documents, I found out that lighting was of capital topic for Villa Cavrois : every item designed by Mallet Stevens and his team (lighting, clocks, furniture, polychrome ...) respects UAM’s guideline.

Original features have entirely disappeared : I had to study each item it in its historical context.

To understand the lighting needs, one has to live in this house at different times of the day. Climate is also a factor. Lighting fixtures and the paintings were chosen for these external elements : these three parameters are indivisible. André Salomon, chief lighting-designer for Robert Mallet Stevens was a master !

Lighting theorists such as Jean Dourgnon and Andrew Solomon : ©The lighting fixture: The TIGRALITE- Rélisation 2015 R.Armand - B.Grandsard pour CMN Villa Cavrois

"Tigralite" (young-man 1’s room) : a ceiling designed by Jean and André Salomon Dournion in 1929. A "flagship" lighting fixture of the building

©Rélisation 2015 R.Armand--B.Grandsard pour CMN Villa Cavrois

Manufacturing the clocks and the barometers for the Villa
Extremely delicate task that requires great precision to fit figures together.

Horloge de cuisine ©La villa Cavrois et son horloge de cuisine © Rélisation 2015 R.Armand

1 . Luminaire Chambre du jeune homme 1 de la Villa Cavrois ©Rélisation 2015 R.Armand-B.Grandsard pour CMN Villa Cavrois

The 86 globes installed in Villa Cavrois have been designed and manufactured to get closer at the best point to those used in 1932.That lighting globe was a sign of modernity.

Eclairage et luminaires de la villa Cavrois ouverture Juin 2015 Robert Mallet Stevens

Some illuminative notes :
lighting devices : opalescent globes set up at Villa Cavrois in 1932

Principales pièces d’utilisation : Le vestibule, la salle à manger des enfants, la cuisine, l’office, la cuisine chambre du jeune-homme 1, l’escalier, chambre de jeune fille, chambre de la gouvernante, le sous-sol.

Devices for semi-direct lighting :
opaline glass diffusers or
opal-glass spherical globe.
These devices completely enclose the lamps to spread the luminous flux emitted over a larger area, so as to decrease the brightness of the luminous focus.

Restoration of the interior of the Villa Cavrois - Creating lighting fixtures, clocks
Works in 3 steps
Listed in 1990, the state purchased in 2001.
construction : September 2012
Completion : May 2015
Contractor :
Agence Michel Goutal, Beatrice Grandsard Architect of National Monuments
Centre des Monuments Nationaux represented by Ilham SLIMANI
house : 2500 m2
total area with terrace : 5000 m2
Public Opening : June 13, 2015

Villa Cavrois
60 Avenue du président John Fitzgerald Kennedy
59510 Croix - France

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