Thursday, December 6, 2012


In 1927, Mr and Mrs Dalsace acquired a three story housed owned by Madame Dalsace’s father. Its location, situated near the faubourg Saint Germain - the hub of intellectual and society life – justified the choice of the site rather than the state of the existing house, which Chareau and the Dalsaces were agreed on rebuilding. However, due to an uncooperative elderly tenant on the second floor, the building couldn’t be demolished. Instead, the first floor of the townhouse was removed and structure was put in place to support the existing second floor. Chareau was asked to design a house to fit within the newly created void.

Each level of the new construction was to be made over a specific aspect of the Dalsace’s lifestyle:
   -The first floor for professional activity with a medical cabinet laid out around a glassed in     secretarial office;
   -The second floor, centered on a large living room, a vast split level volume bug enough to house small orchestras;
   -The third floor for private living with rooms laid out around a gallery overhanging the large living room, and sheltered by the thick walls of the wardrobes

A wing set back on the courtyard was to house the ancillary areas and complete the whole. The two main constraints bearing on the project, on one hand the conservation of the existing floor calling for the underpinning of the structure in place, and on the other, the problem of lighting a narrow building set back in a courtyard, called forth two all-determining responses for the architecture of the house: the choice of the steel frame, and that of the glass facade. The result is a tightly configured, mechanic house that stretches from the original forecourt to the rear garden.

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