“Smooth surfaces, straight edges, sharp curves, polished materials, right angles, clarity and order. This is my logical, geometric house of the future,” said the French architect Robert Mallet-Stevens of his Villa Poiret, a magnificent modernist mansion outside of Paris built in 1921 for the fashion designer Paul Poriet. Fast-forward to 2012, and its carefully considered lines look less like the house of the future than they do quietly elegant and contemporary classic. But having been subject to a meticulous refurbishment according to the original plans in 2006, Villa Poiret is as authentic as ever to Mallet-Stevens vision, if not his description. Which makes it all the more exciting for architecture aficionados that the house if now up for sale.

The rarity of the opportunity to buy Villa Poiret cannot be emphasised enough. Mallett-Stevens is considered, along with Le Corbusier, the most influential figure in French architecture in the period between the two World Wars. Not only was this house his first major building, but it is one of only three large residences he built in France, the other two of which are open to the public and operate as cultural institutions. The French government was said to be interested in Villa Poiret but its high price (available on application through Patrice Besse) is out of its budget.

Designed in the Modernist Art Deco style, Robert-Stevens constructed the Villa Poiret horizontally around a central patio. “All the materials were brought to the work site and the house grew out of the ground like a living plant under the tender care of its prestigious architect, Mallet-Stevens. It was all white, pure, majestic and a little provocative, just like a lily”, wrote Paul Poiret (famous for his corsetry) of his home.

When Poiret ran out of funds to finish his villa, the house was left as an uncompleted shell until it was bought by actress Elvire Popesco. She commissioned the architect Paul Boyer to complete the house, who made a series of Art Deco modifications, giving it the appearance of a cruise liner. The current owner is an architecture enthusiast who worked with the French state to add authentic details such as the two rows of six olive trees in large square planters, a feature inspired by the Cubist gardens of Robert-Stevens’ Villa Noailles. The next owner has no further work to do except enjoy the modernist masterpiece cum contemporary château.

More info:

Patrice Besse
+33(0)1 42 84 80 84