For sale: Villa Seynave by Jean Prouvé and Neil Hutchinson

The magnificent Villa Seynave by Jean Prouvé and Neil Hutchinson arrives on the market

We visit the Villa Seynave of Jean Prouvé and Neil Hutchinson and its finely tuned modernist architecture – currently on the market in the south of France

Becoming a historic home owner can be a daunting prospect. Part guardian, part conservative, you risk seeing every aspect of your life, tastes, and decorating choices come under scrutiny, with little or no options for modification or expansion. It therefore helps to find a property that is a fully realized masterpiece, without the need for substantial modernization or restoration; enter, the Villa Seynave by Jean Prouvé and Neil Hutchinson and its modernist architecture with fine lines.

A sublime holiday villa in the south of France

This is a modest-sized villa located on the edge of a golf course in Grimaud, a seaside town on the bay of Saint-Tropez in the south of France. Designed as a vacation home, the house was commissioned by a businessman and completed in 1962. The design embodies the understated and light approach that characterizes Prouvé’s work. The use of new lightweight materials like plywood, aluminum and glass panels give this long, low building an airy feel, with subtly curved exotic wood panels on the facade, slender mullions, and large expanses of wood. glass.

The facade features curved tropical hardwood panels

Prouvé relentlessly pursues the methods of prefabrication and industrialization of architecture. The Seynave House highlights a few of its methods, such as the precast concrete blocks that are spread across the entire floor plan, containing the kitchen, storage areas, and bathrooms. Coupled with a lightweight structure of columns and beams, the cores support the flat roof. Simplicity is the key; the house has no heating, as it was designed for use during mild Mediterranean summers. Prouvé worked with architect Neil Hutchinson on the structure, and there are key interior elements, including the kitchen and cabinetry, designed by Charlotte Perriand, adding to the sense of occasion and historical value. There is also an integral lighting system by industrial designer Serge Mouille.

Precast concrete core elements, house services and storage

Villa Seynave is now on the market, offered on the Parisian site of Architecture de Collection. The designer himself was adamant that a building was no different from a piece of furniture. In recent years, thanks in large part to the tireless work of gallerist Patrick Seguin, Prouvé’s reputation (and value) has been transformed by showcasing the sculptural value of his rare pavilion projects, bringing them to the market of l international art as pieces of architecture at Château La Coste and sculptural objects, collected by the Museum of Modern Art and the Center Pompidou.

Folding screens can subdivide the space

The villa has been beautifully preserved, with all the original joinery and wall panels, as well as period pieces such as the steel fireplace, sunken conversation pit and sliding partitions to subdivide the space. Despite the green view (and the proximity to the golf course), the house is only 300 m from the beaches of the region.

Prouvé is even better known for its industrialized housing systems, such as the Métropole aluminum prefabricated houses. Unique pieces like this modernist villa are rarer, but still display the innovation and experimentation that have become the architect’s legacy. §


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