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The Villa Cavrois by Robert Mallet-Stevens

At not even 20 minutes from Lille, the Villa Cavrois is worth the trip and a visit, for those who have a taste for architecture and extraordinary stories.

A modernist architectural project

The Villa Cavrois is the work of the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. He quickly, at the school of Architecture as in his projects, stood out for his modernism and he became one of the pioneers of the modernist movement. Strongly interested in a multidisciplinary approach and the collaboration of arts, he refused the use of ornaments and the nonessential.

In the 1920's, he directed the construction of the Villa Noailles in Hyères, requested by the Viscount Charles de Noailles. He had already fashioned his style, and it was between 1929 and 1932 that Mallet-Stevens designed and built the villa Cavrois for the industrialist Paul Cavrois.

An industrialist in the textile business, based in Roubaix with more than 5 companies and nearly 700 employees, the businessman called on Mallet-Stevens to design a home to accomadate his family of 7 children. Above all, he wanted a healthy living environment for his family and the architect presented his project according to these words:

"Real luxury is to live in a bright, cheerful, airy, well heated setting, with as little as possible of unnecessary gestures and a minimum of servants"

Robert Mallet-Stevens

A multi-level masterpiece

The Villa presents itself like a modern castle: one wing corresponding to the parent's quarter, and the opposite wing to the children's and servant's quarter. The main rooms have views of the park and its mirror of reflecting water, thought to the smallest detail.

The whole is the result of the work of remarkable proportions. There are various terraces that are repeated, a repetition accentuated even more by the horizontal lines of the very unique yellow brick facade. The homogeneity of the house's volumes evokes the silhouette of an ocean liner.

In 1987, the villa was abandoned and thanks to its restoration in the years 2000 it is now possible to visit it. More than ten years of historical work and research were necessary to give a soul to the place.

Apart from classic visits, the museum regularly offers night-time visits, allowing you discover the villa under a new angle and with striking lighting effects. The main terrace of 850m2 is also regularly invested for group yoga classes! In short, no excuse to miss out on the discovery of this surprising place. To learn more and prepare for your visit, go to the Villa Cavrois website.

And perhaps the work of Robert Mallet-Stevens will inspire you so much that you will want to become an architect?

Aglaé Dancette



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Photo credit : Villa Cravois : Velvet - Swimming pool : ViteParallele - Large terrace : Jean-Pierre Dalbéra