Alessandro Mendini at Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation
Alessandro Mendini has created the sixth edition of the summer installation at Appartement N°50 at Le Corbusier’s iconic Unité d’Habitation.
Last week, UNESCO announced that 17 works by Le Corbusier would be added to their authoritative list of World Heritage sites, including the Unité d’Habitation, which is arguably the architect’s most significant work. Independently of the historic listing, Jean-Marc Drut has invited Alessandro Mendini to create the sixth edition of the summer installation at Appartement N°50 in the Marseille landmark.
The Italian designer joins a list of past invitees: Jasper Morrison, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Pierre Charpin, and the ECAL (Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne). Like his predecessors, Mendini has integrated his own designs into the existing furnishings by Corbu and Charlotte Perriand. Specifically, he has added a 1978 “Proust” armchair, an “Amuleto” lamp, and a “Toto” rug of his own design, alongside a selection of vintage and bespoke pieces.
Inspired by the design duo’s use of light and color within the space, Mendini has made eight monochromatic ceramic totems that echo the existing palette. Arranged along the railing, these pieces silently keep watch over the living room below. The rug, which duly complements the space on the lower level, is part of Mendini’s Earthquake collection for Joseph Cardini Carpets. (The collection is dedicated to the craftspeople who were devastated by the 2015 natural disaster.) Other subtle touches include the blue ribbons, which add a graphic element to the white wall panels, and the curios that occupy a distinctive pair of blue alcoves.
Appartement 50 at the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille is open to the public until 13 August, from 14:00–18:00 daily except for Sundays and Mondays. For more information, visit the Appartement 50 website.