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Le Corbusier's Cabanon opens at RIBA



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Cassina and the Royal Institute of British Architects are pleased to present the exhibitions Le Corbusier's Cabanon: The Interior 1:1 and an exhibition of furniture, Le Corbusier 1952 - Cassina 2006. The opportunity to explore the most intimate space that Le Corbusier designed comes with the first UK showing of his Cabanon – a 1:1 replica by Cassina of the 14m² holiday house he designed for himself in the south of France. Placed in the centre of the RIBA's Art Deco Florence Hall, visitors can enter the Cabanon and experience its detailed interior, including its idyllic views.


The Cabanon is the only structure Le Corbusier ever built for his own use. As such, the interior, decorated with murals and simple bespoke furniture and fittings, gives an intimate insight into his world. It was the place he retreated to every summer for over ten years and where, in the adjacent studio, he worked on many of his celebrated later projects. Le Corbusier sketched the design for the Cabanonin just 45 minutes. It can be seen as an expression of his most concentrated thoughts on minimal living, the essence of his ideas on dwelling.


In celebration of minimal living Cassina, Blueprint Magazine and the RIBA Trust have organized a competition to design your own Cabanon. Ideas can be submitted on a special card available at Cassina dealers, the RIBA or by emailing info@blueprintmagazine.co.uk. Deadline is the 28 April 2009.


Alongside the Cabanon will be a unique display of some of Le Corbusier's most famous items of furniture, including the Casiers Standard system of container units designed for the Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau, Paris in 1925 and the Equipement intérieur de l'habitation designed for the Salon d'Automne, 1928. Drawn from the Cassina l Maestri collection, the furniture focuses on Le Corbusier's work as a designer and traces the history of these iconic designs.


An exhibition of Cassina, Milan, in collaboration with the RIBA Trust and Blueprint Magazine, Media Partner.


Three talks at the RIBA will examine the Cabanon in more detail:

Monday 23 March, 18.30 Tickets £8/£5 concessions (see below for details)

Equipping the Cabanon: Its Interior and Furniture

Arthur Ruegg will discuss the background to the Cabanon's extraordinary interior.


Tuesday 7 April, 18.30  Gallery talk, Free

Corb and Intimate Space

Join Vicky Richardson, Editor of Blueprint for an insight into the Cabanon


Tuesday 28 April, 18.30 Gallery talk, Free

The Cabanon: Holiday House, Retreat or Primitive Hut?

Rob Wilson, RIBA Trust will discuss how the Cabanon can be viewed in the context of a long and distinguished history of minimal spaces designed as places of retreat


These exhibits are part of the Le Corbusier Season which centres around the exhibition Le Corbusier – The Art of Architecture, staged by the RIBA Trust in partnership with The Barbican at the Barbican Art Gallery from 19 February – 24 May 2009.


Notes to editors

  1. For further press information and images please contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA Press Office on 020 7307 3813 or beatrice.cooke@inst.riba.org


  1. Le Corbusier's Cabanon and Il Maestro – An Exhibition of Furniture from Cassina will be exhibited at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD. Tel: 020 7580 5533; www.architecture.com/programmes. Nearest tubes are Regents Park, Oxford Circus and Great Portland Street. The exhibition and RIBA Café and bar are open Monday to Saturdays 10am – 5pm, Tuesday10.00- 9pm, free entry. Evening or weekend functions sometimes affect gallery opening times. If planning a visit on a Saturday or late weekday afternoon, it is advisable to call beforehand: 020 7307 3888.


  1. Booking tickets for talks. Advance booking is essential, even for free Gallery talks. All tickets can be booked by downloading a form at www.architecture.com/programmes or call 020 7 307 3699 (09.30-17.00 Mon-Fri) or purchase in person from the RIBA Bookshop at 66 Portland Place.


  1. Cassina, leader in contemporary design furniture, has a unique relationship with Le Corbusier that begun in 1964 and holds the exclusive worldwide license to produce Le Corbusier furniture products. Only Cassina pieces are approved and respect the original design and the top-quality standards as intended by Le Corbusier, so much so that each piece has a serial number, trademark and certificate and is registered at the Le Corbusier Foundation in Paris.


  1. The RIBA is grateful to Alias for sponsoring the installation of the Alias Segesta range of furniture for the refurbished RIBA Restaurant Terrace, designed by Dan Pearson.


  1. The RIBA Trust manages the cultural assets of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), including the internationally recognised collections of the British Architectural Library. It is the UK's national architecture centre, delivering the RIBA Awards and RIBA Stirling Prize (broadcast live on     Channel 4); the Royal Gold Medal; International and Honorary Fellowships; a full programme of lectures, exhibitions, tours and other events; and an education programme.


  1. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of the founding of the RIBA. To celebrate this milestone the Institute is looking forward to a programme of special events to be held throughout the year that aims to show the breadth of our activities throughout the world of architecture, engage an even wider public and celebrate the benefits to society of good design. For further information visit www.architecture.com
  2. Blueprint Magazine is the media partner for the exhibition. Blueprint is the leading magazine for architecture and design. It recently celebrated 25 years and is one of the most respected architectural and design titles in the world. www.blueprintmagazine.co.uk


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