Villa Sauber offers a circuit through the emblematic neighbourhood of Monte-Carlo. The exhibition draws on more than 600 historical plans mostly hailing from the Société des Bains de Mer, sheds light on the work of the architects involved – over and above the famous signature of Charles Garnier – and underscores the extraordinary capacity for renewal which hallmarks architectures associated with vacationing and holidays, all created and turned towards a versatile public with fluctuating desires. To take just this one example, between 1863 and 1910, no less than ten architects, including Henri Schmit, would follow in each other’s footsteps to enlarge, transform, embellish, rectify, unify and even plan the Casino-Opéra de Monte Carlo.
Villa Paloma explores, inter alia, Eugène Beaudoin’s urban development proposals of the 1940s, Le Corbusier’s mysterious sketch, and the idea mooted by a surprising stranger, Henry Bulgheroni. After the Second World War, in a context aligned with the European issue of reconstruction, Monaco also had above all to deal with the total saturation of its territory. There duly appeared for Monaco various new urban planning solutions, in a period replete with visionaries. Starting in the 1960s, we thus discover utopian proposals such as La Vénise Monegasque/Venice in Monaco, Yona Friedman’s transparent and suspended bridge-city, Archigram’s Features Monte-Carlo, a rejection of deliberately buried architecture but offering a masterly response to exaggeratedly multi-faceted specifications, Paul Maymont’s Thalassopolis, a city that could be extended ad infinitum over the water, Edouard Albert’s L’Ile artificielle and the Quartier Marin, designed together with Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and Manfredi Nicoletti’s La Ville satellite and the Marinarium. More recently, Jean Nouvel came up with a Centre de l’homme et de la mer, and Emilio Ambasz devised Public Park and Residencies. Real urban development is reinstated in the exhibition thanks to a sizeable collection of illustrative material and filmed reports, emphasizing the ceaseless energy of the works begun in the 1960s, which have never been interrupted since.
The exhibition extends beyond the museum walls, and the city thus assumes a new dimension, at once a place of memory, a place where people live, and a space of projections.
56, boulevard du Jardin Exotique, 98000 Monaco
Until May 12, 2013
17, avenue Princesse Grace
Until January 5, 2014
Villa Sauber will be closed from June 3 to 14 for a partial renewal of the works shown MONACOPOLIS, integrating pieces from the long term deposit of the collections of Performing Arts made by the Société des Bains de Mer to the NMNM (Costumes, accessories and model set designs) on the occasion of the celebration of their 150th anniversary.