How a Mid-Century Design Dealer Takes a Chance on the Weird and Dark

How a Mid-Century Design Dealer Takes a Chance on the Weird and Dark

There’s extra to find on the fringes of mid-century design. Simply ask Clément Cividino, a salesman from Perpigñan within the south of France, who, after beginning his profession with large names – your Perriands and Prouvés – got here throughout a conveyable prefab idea that had been left to abandonment. With a bit elbow grease and the assistance of some mates, he introduced again his shine, discovering a brand new ardour within the course of. At present, he’s fascinated by the prefabricated homes that may be dismantled from the twentieth century.

The newest renovation in its line of acquisitions? The Marabout’s Home, a sublime tent-like aluminum construction that was initially designed for French armies in post-war North African colonies.

Designed by Raymond Camus, the Maison du Marabout, a prefabricated 13-sided construction created in 1958 for using the French armies in Africa, was manufactured within the workshops of Jean Prouvé. The design is believed to have impressed Prouvé’s 1968 landmark work, the Complete service station in Narbonne, France.

Courting from 1958, the Marabout, that means “giant conical tent”, was designed by engineer Raymond Camus, a pioneer within the discipline of prefabricated buildings, and constructed within the workshop of Jean Prouvé. Weighing 26 kilograms per panel, shortly erected, and that includes ventilated sash home windows and heat-deflecting aluminum partitions, it was an ingenious resolution for the intense circumstances of the desert and the opportune maneuvers of colonization. Cividino’s specific marabout was commissioned by the French vitality firm in 1972 as non permanent lodging exterior Paris, and he claims it is the one one left in Europe.

In his newest set up at Terra Remota, a vineyard in Catalonia, Spain, he rolled out the prefab and embellished it together with his personal assortment of probably the most well-known names in mid-century design. We spoke with Cividino to be taught extra concerning the exhibit (on view by way of August 31, 2022), its technique of uncovering misplaced work, and the function prefab can play within the trendy world.

To reside in: How did you get began in design amassing?

Cividino: I used to be 18 and dwelling in Buenos Aires, and with out realizing something concerning the market, I began shopping for issues based mostly on my preferences. There was no standards. I did not know the names of the designers or something concerning the design historical past. I suppose I used to be principally fascinated by the kind of home I might ultimately personal after I obtained again to Europe and what it’d comprise. I needed one thing cool.

What was the response of your prospects if you began promoting prefabricated homes?

Folks did not perceive every part. I even keep in mind lots of people laughing at me saying, “What are you going to do with that? These little architectural homes, are you loopy? But it surely grew to become my obsession, my insanity. My enterprise went by way of a really robust time as a result of I used to be spending some huge cash on it. However in my head I saved saying to myself: In the future they are going to perceive, at some point they are going to see their worth.

In Clément Cividino’s newest exhibition at Terra Remota, a vineyard in northern Catalonia, he embellished the interiors of Le Marabout with a choice of furnishings and design objects by Charlotte Perriand, Marco Zanuso, Bruno Munari and Georges Candilis.

You got your first prefabricated home in 2007. How was it?

He was known as the Bubble 6 shells, or “bubble” home, designed by Jean Maneval. It had six parts and opened like a flower. I discovered him sitting on a mud highway subsequent to a lake. It was in a horrible state – damaged, soiled and lacking glass. Folks threw garbage in it and used it as a rest room. Many homes I’ve discovered and bought have been like this.

Inform me concerning the relocation course of…

It has at all times been sophisticated. At first, after I had no finances, I might name mates and say: Hey, are you able to assist me? I’ll pay for meals and beer. They might snicker out loud. However we went collectively to dismantle the buildings, put all of the completely different components on the roof of a automotive, and convey them again. However I did not actually have a spot to retailer them. So, once more, I needed to ask some mates a favor, and so they let me rebuild them of their yard. It was a large number. However over time, my enterprise grew and I began making more cash. Now I’ve a technical supervisor who does every part in response to my directions. However we’re bettering on a regular basis to make issues simpler and extra organized.

Wooden-framed home windows promote air circulation whereas aluminum partitions deflect warmth. Initially, the home got here with an instruction guide and a set of fundamental instruments. It solely takes an hour and a half to erect it.

What number of have you ever offered and who’re your prospects?

I’ve offered three up to now to do this type of set up. La Maison du Marabout is my sixth set up, however it’s kind of completely different as a result of it is an open-air gallery. Who buys them? Properly, a well-known vogue girl purchased me a setup for her personal use. Then a businessman from Paris purchased one, but it surely was extra like an funding. And a really well-known Spanish lawyer purchased one other one.

It is a area of interest market, is not it?

Sure, there are only a few folks on the planet who promote demountable homes, and even fewer in France. Patrick Seguin Gallery in Paris is one other that I do know.

How did you discover out about Maison Marabout?

I found it 5 – 6 years in the past whereas rummaging by way of books. Later I got here throughout a weblog put up from a gentleman asking for recommendation on easy methods to clear the aluminum panels of a “Fifties home”. I despatched him a message asking to see a photograph, and I instantly acknowledged that it was the marabout. I went to see him in particular person and requested if I might purchase it, however he needed an excessive amount of. Then time handed. In early 2022, I known as him again, hoping he wasn’t already lifeless. This time he agreed, primarily as a result of he was getting older and thought I might be the perfect particular person to maintain him.

A photograph by Jean Ribière of a staircase in Notre-Dame de Royan hangs above a bench designed by Georges Candilis. The eating desk and chairs are a 1968 design by Charlotte Perriand.

Prefab and demountable properties have grow to be common in lots of settings right now. What classes can we draw from Raymond Camus’ design?

The primary query we have to ask ourselves is the place is the demand? Why do we want demountable housing? I do not suppose we want it for enjoyable, to go to the mountains or go to the lake with the household on the weekend. The circumstances created by right now’s wars, mass migrations and ecological disasters are people who require collapsible and portable housing.

In lots of locations, delivery containers have taken on the function of emergency and social housing…

Sure, however you want a crane to place them in place. Then you definately want numerous furnishings as a result of you may’t sleep in an iron field. The one good factor I see about container homes is that they save the delivery container from being despatched to India to be dismantled.

However you additionally furnished the marabout’s home, remodeling it from one thing very utilitarian to fairly luxurious.

Sure, the thought was to make it a home of luxurious, consolation and modernity! I had promised its former proprietor that I used to be going to decorate the bride!

This specific marabout was commissioned by the French vitality firm in 1972 for non permanent lodging exterior Paris. It remained on a property in Avignon for 5 many years earlier than being acquired and restored by Cividano.

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