Apartment 50 was restored by two enthusiasts, Jean-Marc Drut and Patrick Blauwart, as close as possible to its original condition. Listed as a historical monument, the venue occasionally hosts exhibition projects. World-renowned designers have already exhibited there, such as Jasper Morrison, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic and Pierre Charpin. Thus, under the direction of Thilo Alex Brunner, head of the Master Product Design at ECAL, and of ECAL professor Augustin Scott de Martinville, a series of objects was produced over one semester by the Product Design Master students. The project began in September 2014 with a three-day workshop in the Cité Radieuse, allowing students to experience life in the building. Based on their various observations, they created objects to “inhabit” Apartment 50, focusing particularly on the following features:
The specific climate of the apartments:
the fan creates an air flow on the mezzanine and the cushions are designed to fit both on the living room’s indoor parapets and on the loggias’ tables.
The flexibility of interior spaces:
the large rotating lamp serves to light either the dining room or the living room in turn, while the small model can be used either on a desk or a bedside table.
Tours of Apartment 50 which take place regularly:
the carpet, crafted with the support of the Ruckstuhl AG manufacture in Langenthal, displays a map showing how the Cité Radieuse blended in with its environment at the time of construction, while the “unit” metre provides a simple tool to explain the Modulor system.
Life in the communal areas, especially the roof terrace which serves as a meeting place:
the chair and folding table are designed to facilitate migration from the living room of the apartment, while the picnic box allows to comfortably carry everything you for an aperitif.
In addition to the projects around the above-mentioned specificities, half a dozen other objects can be discovered on the spot or in the related publication.
In March 2015, the students of the ECAL Master Art Direction were invited to attend a four-day workshop to experience and document everyday life in the building with a view to editing a publication. Through the architectural spectrum across 52 pages, this editorial project includes portraits of residents or fictional characters inspired by the Modulor system, as well as still lifes and original typefaces echoing the building’s proportions.