Louis Vuitton - Playing with Shapes/ Pierre Paulin, 1972

As a pioneering design house with a tradition of placing artisanal know-how in service of innovation, the Maison Louis Vuitton has brought to fruition a residential project conceived in 1972 by Pierre Paulin for the American office furniture maker Herman Miller. Until now, this one-of-a-kind project had never actually been produced.

An avant-garde designer, Paulin anticipated the necessary alliance between a changing world, new techniques and a living space that was conceived like a refuge or an intimate safe house. Here, the body dictates its relationship with the space around it, with a priority placed on personal use and keeping the outside world at bay, without shutting it out completely.

La Maquette – now a part of the Centre Pompidou’s collections – counts six levels. Bolstered by numerous sketches and preliminary floor plans, this mockup remains the manifestation of a visionary and prescient world, one that is particularly well-captured in Paulin pieces such as the Déclive articulated recliner and the Tapis-siège (carpet seat).

In this one-of-a-kind example of modular living, which was meant for serial production, each level forms a coherent whole yet offers complete freedom  with respect to furnishings, the foundation of Pierre Paulin’s work, which are also presented here.

In keeping with its values, and by bringing to life one of Paulin’s favorite projects, the Maison Louis Vuitton further advances a mutual quest for, as the designer himself once put it, “gestures that are powerful because they are balanced and true.”