07/05/12 - 0 Comments
A Sight for Bored Eyes: Antti Lovag-Designed Palais Bulles
When you think of eccentric architecture, surely the works of someone like Anton Gaudí come to mind. You’re probably familiar with his unconventional imaginings (like the Sagrada Familia church, which gives the illusion of melting) that are sprinkled all over the Spanish city of Barcelona. But we’re willing to bet you aren’t nearly as familiar with Hungarian-born Antti Lovag, if you’ve even heard his name at all. Lovag’s most famous contribution to architecture, Le Palais Bulles, is located near Cannes, in the South of France. The aptly named “Bubble Palace” is currently home to avant-garde fashion designer Pierre Cardin and is indeed unlike any residence you’ve ever seen before.
Completed in 1989, Le Palais Bulles is situated on a little over two acres of land in the charming town of Théoule-sur-Mer, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It boasts approximately 12,000 square feet of living space, including an amphitheater, reception room, panoramic lounge and ten “suites.” As one might imagine (and can clearly see in photographs), Le Palais Bulles owes its name to the spherical shapes that abound throughout the building, everywhere from the actual walls to the windows and furniture.
Upon first seeing the house, one might think Lovag had gone a bit nutty when he designed it, but his architectural fashionings begin to make perfect sense once you understand his philosophy on life. “Straight lines are not modern or natural. People don’t move in straight lines…[they are] an aggression against nature.” This best summarizes Lovag’s philosophy of “habitology,” a phrase he coined to describe how a space is inhabited. In every space he creates, Lovag aims to bring the dweller and his surroundings together in perfect harmony.
We can’t say just how much time Cardin spends harmonizing with nature these days, but we have heard that he had quite a penchant for throwing parties in his heyday. The designer is nearly 90 years old now, though, so he’s probably slowed down a bit! Le Palais Bulles still has a pretty happening social life, however—it is often the backdrop for editorial photo shoots and is frequently rented out for Cannes Film Festival parties and the like.
If you are as fascinated with Le Palais Bulles as we are, you’ll be very happy to know that our favorite luxury book publisher, Assouline, will be releasing yet another beautifully-photographed coffee table book, titled Le Palais Bulles: The Architectural Folly of Pierre Cardin. It is set to hit shelves in the fall, so be sure to mark your calendars!