The SAHGB Annual Lecture. Badovici’s Eclectic Modern: The Vézelay Houses

March 9, 2023
UK and Online

Thursday, 9 March 2023, 17:00 19:30
University of Cambridge

In the year 1927, Jean Badovici was invited to the ancient Burgundy town of Vézelay by his friend and neighbour Georges Renaudin, who had bought, with the help of his partner Olga Battanchon, two small stone houses on the Western ramparts of the town. This first glimpse of Vézelay would lead to an extraordinary flourishing of Badovici’s work through the years 1927 to 1930; alongside his editorship of the biannual review L’Architecture Vivante and work in progress with Eileen Gray on E-1027, the maison en bord de mer, he swiftly purchased properties all over Vézelay, restoring two of them for himself.

Unlike the radical modernism of E-1027 or the canon of modernist buildings that Badovici was assembling in the editions of L’Architecture Vivante, Badovici’s approach was one that respected local materials and genus loci, while achieving the creation of modern spaces within cramped constraints. Le Corbusier praised Badovici’s house in the pages of La Ville Radieuse in terms never offered to another architect,

Professor Tim Benton, a widely-cited expert on the work of Le Corbusier and Eileen Gray, will present a fascinating exploration of Badovici’s approach to his work on the modest Vézelay buildings – his modus operandi, and what he achieved, for which there is no precedent at that date. Professor Benton’s research draws on the correspondence between Badovici and Renaudin, which included detailed sketches, but, just as importantly, brings in the consideration of further texts from the Badovici archive at the Getty Research Institute.

More information and registration can be found here.

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