Appartement 50

Konstantin Grcic is the Latest Design Maverick to Take on a Le Corbusier Classic

Le Corbusier’s monumental Cité Radieuse complex in Marseille, long the home of artists and writers, now plays host to a design project that has seen contemporary designers decorate and furnish apartment 50 to their own specifications. Its current incumbent is German designer Konstantin Grcic, who has filled it with his own signature, industrial-influenced furniture, and prints taken from the pages of a punk fanzine. Masterminded by Jean-Marc Drut, the project began five years ago. “I first proposed it to Jasper Morrison, because the work he was doing at the time had such a clear relationship with Le Corbusier’s,” says Drut. After a year, the project is passed on to another notable designer: Morrison put forth the Bouroullec Brothers, who in turn proposed it to Grcic. Each approached the apartment on their own terms. “Grcic said the Bouroullec Brothers’ design fitted so seamlessly and peacefully into the space that he had no option but to stage a brutal intervention, and the punk aesthetic matches the Brutalist architecture of Le Corbusier,” says Drut. “Design is a vocabulary. Objects are like an alphabet and designers are trying to tell us something with their creations. We are learning a new language every time.”
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Conversations (1)

  • mlagudelo
    Reminds me of a Godard film

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    Peter Beard: A Wild Life

    The Artist and Photographer On His Lifelong Dedication to the Natural World

    Peter Beard has been documenting and interpreting Africa’s epic landscapes and indigenous species for nearly six decades. Here he gives a rare insight into his life and practice in this meditative short from director Derek Peck. Shot at Beard’s home in Montauk, Long Island, we find the artist, author and photographer continuing to develop his complex collage practice that brings together found objects, contact sheets, literary quotes and photographs from Tsavo, Kenya, where he made some of his most memorable and affecting work on elephants in the 60s and 70s. “It does the heart good to see what nature has made available to us,” he says in today’s film. “Nature is the best thing we’ve got.” In his delicate, ornate work, his passion for the natural world is evident, and his commitment to the protection of the environment remains unwavering. “Peter is by turns charming and humorous, dark and brooding, and nostalgic,” Peck says of working with Beard. “Every photo in the collage would trigger a stream of thought about his time in Africa, photography, Montauk, and, especially, his concern for, and anger over, the state of the natural world. This subject more than any other has been at the heart of his work over his lifetime.”

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    United Visual Artists: Reinventing the Wheel

    The London-based Collective Teams Up with VANDEYK for this Hypnotic Short

    A bicycle wheel is transformed into an homage to early op art in this mesmerizing collaboration between United Visual Artists and Stuttgart-based VANDEYK Contemporary Cycles. Inspired by the likes of Bridget Riley, the London-based collective UVA used LED strips and motion control systems to create a hypnotic vortex that momentarily threatens to suck the viewer in. Known for sitting at the intersection of sculpture, architecture, live performance, moving image and digital installation, UVA devised the film's surging soundtrack using audio effects of the bike company’s latest limited-collection release, Purple Blast (a nod to the color of solar flares). The result is a crafty reference to Marcel Duchamp’s early 20th-century notion of the readymade.


    The dark bunker underneath the UVA studio.

    A Canon 5D MKII, to shoot stills.

    Hours on set

    Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley were obvious influences, but also the phase experiments by Steve Reich and John Cage, linking visual feedback and movement with sound.

    Helmet worn

    Happy accidents
    During testing the LED strip was installed on one of the director’s bikes. They forgot to take it off and were soon riding around the city looking very bling indeed.

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