Saturday, 11 April 2020

Pavlovsky Lighthouses


At the outbreak of the First World War Saint Jean de Luz was a fashionable get away for the comfortably off.

Although the local architecture featured the traditional Basque style farmhouse, the new arrivals, wealthy and attracted to modernity, engaged young architects to design their villas.

 The Pavlovsky lighthouse on the Saint Jean de Luz side of the harbour.
Lighthouse designed by Andre Pavlovsky, Saint Jean de Luz, Pyrenees-Atlantiques. France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

André Pavlovsky (1891 - 1961) probably most represents these inventive contemporary talents that would profoundly transform the Basque architectural landscape.

Son of a Russian family who had moved to Paris, he spent his summers in Saint Jean de Luz before moving there permanently in 1924. He then joins the trending neo-Basque modernist group of architects, chief amongst whom was Henri Godbarge. Little by little his work became more modernist, using concrete and big windows, and the effects of light and shadow.

 Pavlovsky lighthouse on the Ciboure side of the harbour.
Lighthouse designed by Andre Pavlovsky, Ciboure, Pyrenees-Atlantiques. France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

In 1929 he worked on a number of important hotels and bars. The same year he was approached by the wealthy residents of the Chantaco quarter, who had bought property in the area, attracted by the golf. Five big villas, including one for René and Simone Lacoste, were designed and built under his supervision.

His signature style blended modernism with traditional Basque, neo-Basque and Hispanic elements, such as empty triangular cartouches, pedemented lozenges, oval windows decorated with keys, oculi.

In 1936 he delivered his most prominent project, the rebuilding of the two lighthouses at the entrance to the harbour, giving him the opportunity to stress the vertical.

By the end of the Second World War the demand for grand villas was much reduced. From then on he designed apartment blocks and public buildings, and concentrated on photography. In the 1950s he designed a renowned motel in the nearby hills.

At the end of his life he wrote 'You should never slavishly copy, but interpret and only stick to the general idea of what has gone before. In a word, evolve!' 


************************************************

For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

No comments:

Post a comment