Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 32: VILLA CAVROIS, ROUBAIX

Over the last few months, my Architectural photography has been somewhat put on the back burner. Having said so, I still really do enjoy documenting great Architecture; whether it is an early 20th century or Modern building, it often gets my attention!

For me the Art Deco period and more specifically the Late Art Deco between both World Wars, is really something special. Knowing the 1930's are being referred to as the Great Depression years, some of the Architecture that came out of this period remains very unique. 

Such is the case of the Villa Cavrois in Roubaix, close to the Lille in the North part of France. It was designed in 1929 by the famous Modernist Architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for Paul Cavrois, an industrialist active in the textile industry. 

When the huge villa was finished in 1932 it was very advanced for its time, having central heating, cold and hot softened drinking water, electric clocks, inter-phone system between the rooms, telephone with the outside world, electric vacuum cleaners and even towel heaters! 

During World War II, the German military confiscated the house, but the family Cavrois returned to it in 1947. After that it remained inhabited till the death of Madame Cavrois in 1986, but then rapidly decayed when it was looted and occupied by squatters. It quickly became heavily vandalized and some people wanted to demolish the villa in order to sell of the land. 

Luckily the French government eventually stepped in when the Ministry of Culture bought it in 2001. After an extensive 15 year restoration period, having invested 23 million euro, the Villa Cavrois was in 2015 finally restored to its full glory and is now one of the 85 cultural monuments in France. 

If interested in visiting the place (which is great for Architectural photography), visit their website here.  

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF 18-135 lens
  • 3 exposures at f11, 23mm, at different ISO and shutter speeds
  • Merge to HDR in Lightroom CC
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 with Color Contrast filter
  • Photoshop CC High Pass filter for additional sharpening
The full collection of the images shot during my 2 hour visit at Villa Cavrois can be found here

Although I haven't added an Architectural portfolio image in a while, I believe the one above classifies.

Remember: "A house is a machine for living in" - Le Corbusier


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