‘villa cavrois’: a striking 1930s design by Robert Mallet-Stevens
Nestled in the outskirts of Croix, France, lies a hidden gem of modernist architecture: ‘Villa Cavrois’. Designed by renowned architect Robert Mallet-Stevens in the 1930s, this striking residence stands as a testament to its creator’s daring spirit and innovative vision. Despite facing neglect and deterioration over the years, the villa has been meticulously restored to its former glory, offering visitors a glimpse into the golden age of modernism — and the experience of capturing it on camera has been an exceptional journey for photographer Juan Jerez.
all images © Juan Jerez
an extensive and triumphant restoration
‘My fascination with the project had been long-standing, not only due to its architectural brilliance and its affiliation with a period and style that deeply resonated with me but also because of the rich history of the place and the remarkable restoration efforts carried out by the Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN),’ shares the photographer.
After decades of neglect, ‘Villa Cavrois’ underwent an extensive restoration process to revive its original splendor. The restoration team at the Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN) painstakingly researched historical documents, photographs, and materials to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the project. The result is a triumph of preservation, where the 1930s residence shines once again, showcasing the architectural genius of Robert Mallet-Stevens.
‘Villa Cavrois’ designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens in the 1930s
juan jerez intimately explores the villa’s interior splendor
The circumstances surrounding the photoshoot were particularly unique, notes Juan Jerez. ‘With the Covid-19 pandemic in full force and the restrictions in place across France, the villa remained closed to the public. However, thanks to my previous collaboration with the CMN, I was granted a rare opportunity to access the villa for an entire day. I was given the freedom to explore and capture the diverse spaces within the villa. It was a truly magical experience that has left an indelible mark on my memory.’
‘Being alone in the villa allowed me to immerse myself fully in the atmosphere of the place. I could appreciate the intricate details, the interplay of light and shadows, and the exquisite craftsmanship that went into every aspect of its design. The ‘Villa Cavrois’, in its restored splendor, emanated a sense of grandeur and elegance that was awe-inspiring,’ he continues.
capturing the restored modernist grandeur
Each space revealed its unique character as he moved from room to room. The expansive windows bathed the rooms in abundant natural light, creating a seamless connection between the interior and the surrounding landscape. The meticulous attention to detail, from the carefully curated furniture to the subtle play of colors and textures, showcased the genius of Robert Mallet Stevens’ design.
Capturing the essence of the villa through Jerez’s lens was a joyous task. He sought to convey not only the architectural magnificence but also the emotions evoked by the space. The play of light and shadow, the interplay of lines and forms, all came together to create a visual narrative celebrating this modernist masterpiece’s beauty and significance.
a vibrant interplay of light and shadow
‘The Villa Cavrois stands not only as a remarkable architectural marvel but also as a symbol of cultural heritage. Its restoration serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and celebrating our architectural treasures. The villa’s reopening has breathed new life into the community, attracting architecture enthusiasts, history buffs, and art lovers from around the world, who flock to witness this architectural masterpiece in person,’ Juan Jerez concludes.
documenting the craftsmanship that went into every detail