André Lurçat (1894 – 1970) French Arhitect & Furniture Designer

Andre Lurcat chairs
Andre Lurcat chairs

André Lurçat (1894 – 1970) was a French architect and furniture designer. He was born in Bruyeres, Vosges. He was the brother of Jean Lurcat.

Biography

He joined the CIAM (Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne) as a founding member in 1928. Lurcat led the commission on urbanism. His furniture and architecture of the 1920s were geometrical forms influenced by Cubism. Thonet produced his furniture for the Ecole Karl-Marx, which resembled Marcel Breuer’s twisted metal tubular furniture.

Architecture

In France, he built groundbreaking structures such as the Villa Seurat artists’ studios in Paris from 1925 to 1926, the 1925 Gromaire House in Versailles, the 1926 Bomsel House in Versailles, the 1926—27 painter Guggenbuhl’s house in Paris’ rue Nansouty, and the 1927 sculptor Froriep de Sallis’ house in Boulogne.

Many of his unbuilt residential structures were revolutionary. He authored the manifesto Architecture in 1930, built the Hotel Nord-Sud in Calvion on the Mediterranean, and became a member of a Marxist group focusing on urbanism. With frescoes by his brother Jean Lurcat, he designed the Ecole Karl-Marx primary school in Villejuif, outside Paris, from 1931 to 1933.

Paris

In 1932, he established his architecture firm in Paris and joined UAM (Union des Artistes Modernes). He was a strong supporter of the Soviet Union and a regular travelling there. He studied architecture with other members of the Villejuif group. He was the only foreign architect authorised to compete for the USSR Sciences Academy Building. His works for the restoration of Maubeuge and the repair of Saint-Denis following World War II, as well as his essay Formes, composition, and lois d’harmonie (1953—57), displayed his concern for monumentality and axiality.

Exhibitions

He participated in the 1925 Paris ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes,’ the opening of the Bauhaus, Dessau, and the first exhibition of Viennese plastic arts in France,’ and exhibited his first houses of the Villa Seurat at the Salons d’Automne.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

Additional Reading

Allison, C. (2018). French country cottage. Gibbs Smith.

Heald, H. (2019). La Vie est belle the elegant art of living in the French style. Ryland, Peters & Small.

Shaw, B. R., & Baldwin, J. (2020). Perfect French Country: Inspirational interiors from rural France. Ryland Peters & Small.

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