While I was in Paris last January researching the archive of André Wogensky, who was the long time assistant to Le Corbusier and architect of the St Charles Center involved in the Battle of the Hotels, I visited Martha Pan and André Wogensky’s estate in the suburban town of Saint Remy les Chevreuses, an hour away from Paris. The estate is today the Pan Wogensky Foundation, and is directed by Dominique Amouroux, long-time Pan-Wogensky scholar.
Although I was visiting to take a look at Wogensky’s personal archives and the house he had designed, I found myself mesmerized by his partner Martha Pan’s sculptures and gestures around the house. The garden was scattered with minimalist volumes in shiny stainless steel and the house’s red sculpted wooden door knobs, guardrails and objects complemented Wogensky’s orthogonal, highly rational architecture. Every corner of the house designed by the architect was tied together by the warmth of Pan’s hands, which carved wood and curved steel with grace and strength.
Could Modernism have been at its best when it was the creation of a couple?