A shock. A wonder. The impression of being transported inside a protected case, instantly erasing the inconvenience of the journey. For almost fifteen years, for each of my arrivals at Maison Louis Carré, the emotion has always remained the same as the first time, when, in the early morning, we were greeted by deer by the pool! The house had just been acquired by the Association Alvar Aalto en France and, although decrepit, it had lost none of its power. I’m a great admirer of Aalto’s work from my first life as an architect, and was very happy to contribute, as a photographer, to the book on the house.
It was the start of a long-term work around the house, a video work La Visite, for which I also took many photographs. Although the surrounding landscape has completely changed – originally very open to the distance, it is now closed by the forest – the location of the house, the way it is placed on the hill, the work on the terraces and steps remain right. I am always stunned by the strong relationship between interiors and exteriors: the framed window views, the ceiling that extends to the underside of the roof, the way a particular window in the dining room catches the rays of the setting sun when another that of dawn … Also struck by the sensuality of the materials of the architecture and its furniture, by the precise dimensions of each thing, I had to put the house in relation to human bodies.
I offer here a selection of images from my many visits to the house and which were used as material for the video.