In the eyes of Aurélien Jeauneau & Jeremy Pradier-Jeauneau: the Fabiola salon by Pierre Guariche

This week, the Pradier-Jeauneau gallery invites you to sit down in one of the most international armchairs by designer Pierre Guariche. The Fabiola ensemble, named after the Queen of the Belgians in 1960, reinvents the "club" armchair ... after Le Corbusier's measurements!


The Fabiola salon by Pierre Guariche (1926-1995),

Restoration in Bultex foam and Maison Thévenon cotton and linen fabrics Caulaincourt and Bouclette ivoire, Ed Meurop, 1961

“Pierre Guariche would undoubtedly not have denied the name“ international armchair ”, so much does Europe embody all the hopes in the aftermath of a world war which has ravaged the Old Continent. The “ Fabiola " set, produced in 1961, consists of a pair of armchairs, quite opulent, and a variation in bench by a clever set of seat modules. Edited by a Belgian company, for which Pierre Guariche has held the position of general manager since 1960, this show represents a symbol, that of a federalist, dynamic and happy Europe.


Fabiola, the queen and the club chair

Taking up the French marriage of wood and metal, Pierre Guariche imagines a club chair that refers to inspirations across the Atlantic. At 34, the designer has no less than ten exceptional years of creation to his credit. The seat, his favorite field with the luminaire, grows over a production that is always more refined in the lines, always more stripped down in the ornamentation.

The "Fabiola" armchair is composed of a metal base of square section which supports an upholstered wooden shell. On either side, two rectangles are fixed at three points to form the armrests. Finally, two cushions come to decorate the seat and the file. The whole, perfectly correct, is based on the Golden Ratio of Le Corbusier, master of modernism. The form relationship emphasizes a game of rectangles affixed to each other, which build an armchair with the right line and perfectly accomplished.

The bet of modularity and multiple uses, held in 1955 at Steiner by the designer, is won at the publisher Meurop by this model, standardized and manageable, which comes, by the addition of low chairs, to form a straight bench, or corner, completed by a "square pedestal table" designed for the occasion. The assembly thus makes it possible to project it as well in a domestic interior as in a high-class executive lounge. By designing a "club" armchair, not bulky and perfectly comfortable, Pierre Guariche offers Meurop its first great success.


Meurop = Furniture + Europe

First a manufacturer for other companies, the Belgian company grew by producing mass-produced furniture on demand Taking over the principle of mail order sales from a Swedish colleague, the expansion started before the Treaty of Rome jumped at the opening of the European borders Meurop, contraction of "Furniture" and "Europe" is offered a first large-scale project, the furnishing of part of the headquarters of the Commission of the European Communities in Brussels

The international influence will come by the hiring of the French star designer, Pierre Guariche, in 1957, to completely rethink the publisher's catalog for a young and modern clientele. Shops in France, Holland, Germany and England will support the flourishing activity until the oil shock of 1975.


Pierre Guariche, designer 

Pierre Guariche graduated from the School of Decorative Arts in Paris in 1949. After two years alongside Marcel Gascoin at ARHEC, he created his agency, and his first models were edited by the best of the new French industry: Airborne, Steiner, TV and Airborne furniture in particular.

From 1954 to 1957, he joined forces with Michel Mortier and Joseph-André Motte and created the ARP, which would define the French 50 style. For Pierre Disderot, he would design the most beautiful collection of post-war lighting, and at Meurop , from 1960 to 1968, a formidable production of series furniture. Large development projects such as the Isola 2000 ski resort in La Plagne and the prefecture of Evry and the model apartment of a housing unit in Le Corbusier in Saint-Etienne were produced by him ”


archive : Fabiola Set, in the Editor showroom, around 1962 ( in Meurop page 171, Aurelien Jeauneau, Pierre Guariche, lighting - furniture - interior designer, coll., ed Norma Paris, 2020 )


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