The colour range is subtle, the lines are clean and uncluttered but the details of this building are quite extraordinary. Purpose built to provide studios for artists migrating from Montmartre to Montparnasse, the style of the building at 31 rue Campagne Première has been described as on a pivotal point between Art Nouveau and Modernism. Whatever the stylistic definition, it’s clearly a modern, steel framed building designed by an architect (André Arfvidson) who wasn’t afraid to make the most of decorative materials.
The glazed stoneware tiles, from the atelier of ceramicist Alexandre Bigot, cover almost all of the facade between the steel framed doors and windows. Overall the building makes a coherent picture that is very easy on the eye but, if you stop to stare a while, there’s a great variety of detail to discover. (Click on any photo to view the gallery)
Rue Campagne Première is a narrow, unassuming street which has had many remarkable residents over the years. Artist Amedio Modigliani lived at number 3, photographer Eugène Atget at number 19. Residents at number 31 have included artist/photographer Man Ray while, in the 1920s, the Hotel Istria next door played host to artist Marcel Duchamp, composer Eric Satie and writer Rainer Maria Rilke among many famous names.