Le Corbusier’s ideas given a new lease on life
Together with Les Couleurs Suisse AG, which owns the worldwide rights to Le Corbusier’s well-known colours, Arte developed a unique collection of wallpaper.The master architect’s entire body of work served as a source of inspiration. Using new techniques and materials, Arte succeeded in transposing Le Corbusier’s progressive concepts into a unique and sensational wallpaper with a contemporary look and feel.
No other wallcovering manufacturer can match Arte’s innovative ideas, techniques and designs.Time and again the specialist for refined wallcoverings surprises the market with entirely innovative concepts. This time the designers drew inspiration from the early twentieth century, and the work of master architect Le Corbusier for the elegant and surprising new wallpaper collection which Arte is launching today.
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (1887-1965), who is better known as Le Corbusier, was a Franco-Swiss architect and is widely considered one of the founding fathers of Modernism. He was way ahead of his time, designing buildings in function of their residents and their surroundings. But Le Corbusier was a creative genius who didn’t shy away from other ventures. Because in addition to many architectural gems, he also created impressive furniture and wallpaper designs. He is also known for his architectural colour palette called the ‘Polychromie architecturale’. Since 1968, a few years after he died, La Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris protects and manages the heritage of the renowned architect, designer and artist. La Fondation Le Corbusier gave Les Couleurs Suisse AG a worldwide mandate and the exclusive rights to oversee and promote this unique ‘Polychromie architecturale’ colour palette. And now Arte has designed a new wallpaper collection in close collaboration with these two organisations.
Le Corbusier himself created two renowned collections of wallpaper: ‘Salubra I’ (1931) and ‘Salubra II’ (1959). Arte by no means wanted to copy his work. Instead the designers tried to imagine what this architect-designer-artist would have created if he was born one hundred years later. Which materials, designs and techniques would he have used? In other words: we have transposed Le Corbusier’s progressive ideas to the present-day with this collection, in terms of its design, and the materials and techniques used.
Arte did not limit itself to using the master’s wallpaper as inspiration for its collection Le Corbusier. The designers referred to various specific characteristics of his extensive body of work. Le Corbusier was ahead of his time in many ways. That is why all his work served as an incredibly interesting source of inspiration for developing an innovative, contemporary wallpaper collection.
The new Le Corbusier collection comprises five exclusive designs and a range of plain wallpaper which can be combined with them. They add an original and warm touch and feel to the most diverse interiors as well as authenticity. The Pavilion wallpaper was inspired by Le Corbusier’s preference for primitive art and tent structures. Arte combined the tent structure of the Philips pavilion (Expo 58 in Brussels) with the organic, imperfect and warm elements of primitive art. By varying the sheen of the wallpaper Arte succeeded in creating an aesthetic relief.
A second design in the collection is based on the way in which Le Corbusier incorporated windows in his buildings. He considered them to be “perforations ”in the façade, which defined the buildings’ appearance. Arte’s Unity wallpaper was primarily inspired by the ‘rhythm’ which Le Corbusier used when adding windows in the façades of his buildings, more specifically by the windows of the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille. The designers added a relief to the paper by perforating it with nails and then colouring it in. A subtle sheen adds an unexpected dimension to the wallpaper.
Concrete was used as a starting point for the third design, called Stone. Arte combines this material which Le Corbusier frequently used with the marble prints which the master used in his own wallpaper. With special techniques and by mixing textures and materials, the wallpaper specialist created an opulent and tactile wallpaper. The result is visually arresting, in between a marble and concrete structure. Depending on the way the light falls in, the sheen and appearance of the wallpaper change.
For its fourth design Arte referred to the dotted pattern which Le Corbusier used when designing a collection of wallpaper for Salubra S.A. in 1931. He was inspired by the cardboard which he often used for his designs and collages and its tiny perforations. Arte almost literally translated Le Corbusier’s design to the present day with its Dots wallpaper. However the manufacturer used innovative printing techniques and an ink with relief, which appears and disappears under specific lighting conditions. Tiny dots were applied to the paper with coloured and glossy ink, creating a nice contrast with the matt background paper.
The fifth wallpaper is also an innovative interpretation of Le Corbusier’s wallpaper. This time the designers referred to the master’s second collection for Salubra S.A, which he created in 1959:large white surfaces surrounded by a grid of small squares. With this design Le Corbusier referred to his approach to incorporating windows in buildings. Arte transposed this idea in its own design. The grid in Squares is interrupted at regular intervals, by placing various elements in unexpected positions. Arte was inspired by Le Corbusier’s Brise Soleil in the Assembly Building in Chandigarh for this design. What is special about this design is that the designers chose not to use traditional printed paper but pressed a shape into a fabric using warmth. It’s fascinating to see, irresistible to the touch. The result is a stunning interaction between level surfaces and relief, light and dark, with a 3D effect. Squares has another advantage. Thanks to the combination of materials this wallpaper also has a positive effect on the acoustics in the space where it is used.
Finally the Le Corbusier collection also comprises thirteen plain references, named Tints: wallpaper in a selection of the warm, authentic colours of the master’s ‘Polychromie architecturale’ colour palette. Arte received the permission of Les Couleurs Suisse AG for these wallpapers, which holds the worldwide licensing rights to Le Corbusier’s ‘Polychromie architecturale’ and is thus able to launch an authentic and exclusive collection. Because after Le Corbusier died nobody ever was granted the permission to use his colours or ideas in wallpaper. Proof yet again that Arte is considered a master in its field worldwide.