Hélène de Mandrot (1867 – 1948) Swiss Designer and Arts patron

Hélène de Mandrot (1867 – 1948) was a Swiss Designer and arts patron. She was professionally active in Paris and Switzerland. She was a wealthy lady with cultural aspirations, who spent her time travelling between the great cultural centres and fashionable holiday resorts of Europe, and who liked to gather artists and authors around her. 


In 1922, de Mandrot established a ‘maison des artistes’; in 1927, she invited artists, scientists, writers, and others to her medieval chateau, La Sarraz, north of Lake Geneva (Switzerland). She intended to create a centre for the decorative and fine arts, music, and literature. She also sponsored a conference for filmmakers, which Sergei Eisenstein attended. She was in charge of the Swiss pavilion, which included furniture, furnishings, rugs, and paintings, at ‘Esposizione Biennale delle Arti Decorative e Industriali Moderne’. In 1928, she hosted and was a significant participant in the initial planning of the first CLAM (Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne) at La Sarraz. She met and was impressed with Le Corbusier. So much so that she commissioned him to design a holiday house for her in Le Pradet, near Toulon, France.

In the 1920s, Paris she designed rugs and collapsible furniture (produced by Jean Bonino, Paris) shown at Paris Salon d’Automne; commissioned Le Corbusier to design 1930—31 villa Le Pradet near Toulon, in stone and concrete with sculptures by Jacques Lipschitz on the terrace and lawn.


Bachmann, J., Moos, S. von, & Casparis, C. (1969). New Directions in Swiss architecture. Studio Vista.

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

Tzonis, A., & Canal, D.-A. (2002). Le Corbusier: Poétique, machines et symboles. Hazan.

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