Back again to the 16th
Back again to the 16th arrondissement, Tuesday was spent looking for modern, or at least early twentieth century, architecture. Our first stop was rue Mallet Stevens, a cul de sac of a half dozen houses off rue du Docteur Blanche. Built in the mid-twenties, all the buildings were designed by Robert Mallet Stevens as an avant garde enclave for architects, sculptors, artists and their contemporaries. The photo on the left shows one of the typical white cubic structures with industrial-style, horizontal windows, stepped terraces and balconies. The red ceiling of the top tower made me wish I could get up there to see what the open air space below it was like. Off of Square du Docteur Blanche we found two le Corbusier buildings. Villa Jeanneret houses the offices of the Corbusier Foundation but Villa la Roche is open to the public. Though we couldn't get much sense of the exterior because the building is undergoing restoration, we toured the interior, multi-story spaces, climbing up and across interconnecting stairs and bridges around the three-story entry hall which connected the two wings. The room shown on the right was a living room/gallery, with thin pipes on the right and back walls for hanging artwork and a fairly steep ramp up to the library hidden behind the sweeping brown wall on the left. Besides all the other neat details for shelving and a mirror that made the curving sweep of a counter go on into infinity, we were both surprised at the number of colors and their unusual combination. Before heading back to meet the Kahn's for dinner, we also found time for a quick visit to the Marmottan Museum to see their Monet collection of sixty or so paintings spanning fifty years, which were the result of a bequest from Monet's son. There was a single painting of the cathedral at Rouen, wonderfully displayed so that you could view it from way across the room. The distance heightened its incredible realism, so unbelievable when you look at it up close, and prevented anything else from displacing the Rouen series as my favorites.