Inspired from the luxurious Italian houses and built in the early XXth century, the Louis-Jeantet Villa is part of the architectural heritage of the Geneva landscape. Classified as an historic building in 1983, the Villa was abandoned for a long period of time before the Louis-Jeantet Foundation decided to establish its headquarters in this unique place and to totally restore the Villa.
Located in the residential area of Florissant, the Louis-Jeantet Centre opened its doors in 1998. The Centre offers both the distinction of a patrician Neo-renaissance residence and the sobriety of a contemporary Auditorium.
Next to the Villa lies the Louis-Jeantet Auditorium. Contrasting from the Villa with its contemporary style, the Auditorium and its patio surrounded by water are the result of an international architectural competition.
The Louis-Jeantet foundation would be pleased to host your future events in these exceptional premises.
Behind its neo-Renaissance facade, the Louis-Jeantet Villa displays a ground floor with a rich and eclectic decoration.
The Auditorium is accessible directly from the route de Florissant, through the patio, or from the Villa.
- The villa
Towards the end of the 1980’s, the Louis-Jeantet Foundation expressed interest in a private mansion known as the Villa Edelstein. Built at the beginning of the 20th century in a neo-Renaissance style, this listed building was in a sorry state. Damaged by fire and subsequently abandoned, the residence nonetheless remained a jewel in the crown of the cultural heritage of Geneva. It enjoyed a privileged location, situated close to the university hospital complex.
In 1992, after years of negotiations, the State of Geneva agreed to cede the leasehold for 99 years to the Louis-Jeantet Foundation for the nominal sum of one franc, and a commitment to renovate the building. Given the size and importance of the job, the Foundation organised an international architectural competition, covering an Auditorium, the garden and the renovation of the old mansion. The competition was won by the Domino architects together with the Ter landscape gardeners.
The Villa Louis-Jeantet was renovated by specialists in the conservation of patrimony, under the supervision of the architect Pierre Bosson. The Foundation set up its headquarters there in 1998.
- The Auditorium
The Louis-Jeantet Auditorium is linked to the Villa by a patio garden inspired by Moghol gardens and the courtyards of Persian mosques. From the patio, a large revolving door gives access to the Auditorium. The continuity in space is assured by the materials used – black shale, architectural concrete, panels with Bakelite finish and bright colours – their presence inside the building recalls the garden outside. The interplay of shadow and light then brings it all together.
A huge natural light well illuminates the stage. Openings in the surfaces of the architectural features bring light to areas otherwise in darkness. And even if the Auditorium is situated on the lower ground floor, the visitor never has the impression of being beneath a residential apartment block. At night the lighting is reversed, now coming from recessed spotlights in the floor or in the streams and fountains of the garden.
On the occasion of the renovation of the Villa Louis-Jeantet, two books were published and are available at the Foundation.
Centre Louis-Jeantet, Domino Architectes
This work describes the architectural approach adopted by the winners of the architecture competition organised in 1992 by the Foundation (in French only).
Re-Naissance, Villa Edelstein
Produced jointly by the photographer Jean Mohr and the writer Marie Gaulis, this work takes a lyrical view on the different stages of the renovation of the Villa that has become the headquarters of the Foundation (in French only).
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