Drawing on Le Corbusier’s interest in streamlined, mid-20th century steamship design and MKCA’s own expertise in creating compact, multifunctional spaces in contemporary urban environments, the apartment is simultaneously adaptable, efficient, and strikingly elegant. Playfully dubbed by MKCA as a pied-à-mer, the residence serves as a holiday home for a couple and their grown children, transforming seamlessly from a spacious one-bedroom to a two-bedroom apartment through tables and beds that fold away and unfurl as necessary. As a jumping-off point for the project, MKCA looked to modernist architecture’s fascination with nautical design, which optimized for small-scale living, modular organization, and efficiency. In particular, Le Corbusier’s belief that a home should be regarded as a “machine for living,” as well as his fascination with cruise ships as models for self-sufficient, utopian apartment complexes, like his famed 1952 Unite D'Habitation, offered inspiration, as did Gio Ponti’s work on cruise ships and ocean liners, and Eileen Gray’s villa E-1027 in the South of France for its embrace of earthy materials contrasting against smooth, planar surfaces of the building.
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