Cubic Glass and Iron Greenhouse at Austrian Pavilion
- Peter Behrens

The 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts

was held in Paris from April to October 1925. It was designed by the French government to highlight the new style moderne of architecture, interior decoration, furniture, glass, jewelry and other decorative arts in Europe and throughout the world.

Germany was barred from participating because of its role in World War I, but Austria and Hungary were invited, as was the new Soviet Union, though it was not yet officially recognized by France. Many countries had exhibits of furniture and decoration within the Grand Palais, and also built pavilions to illustrate new ideas in architecture. Britain, Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands all had substantial pavilions, as did the Scandinavian countries, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Japan had an important pavilion, while China had only a modest representation. The United States, not entirely understanding the purpose of the exhibit, chose not to participate.

The Austrian Pavilion Outdoor patio at The Hall of Music
--Josef Hoffman

Austria was a major participant, thanks to the work of Josef Hoffmann, who designed the Austrian pavilion next to the Seine. The complex included a terrace by the Seine, a tower, a cubic glass and iron exhibit hall by Peter Behrens, and a brightly decorated cafe. The pavilion contained works of sculpture by the modernists Anton Hanak and Eugen Steinhof.

Although the exhibition promised to showcase the modern and industrial arts, it instead highlighted just how much the French still favoured opulence and decoration. lnstead, it was the Russians and a young, Swiss-born architect named Le Corbusier who showed the public the inspiring new designs the organizers had promised.

The Russian designer Konstantin Melnikov's Soviet Pavilion was a striking design in the Constructivist style, while Le Corbusier's Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveauwas a stark exercise in rational geometry.

Perhaps most shocking to the public was the sparse interior of Le Corbusier's pavilion, which looked like a prison cell compared to the lavish pavilions designed by designers such as Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann. With his high-profile pavilion design, Le Corbusier laid down a challenge to the French, and slowly some designers started to respond.

By 1929, a group of French architects and designers had come together to fight the rising tide of Art Deco. Calling themselves the Union des Artistes Modemes (Union of Modem Anises, or UAM), they counted Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Puiforcat, and Jan and Joel Martel among them. Their first president was Robert Mallet-Stevens an architect whose heavily geometric buildings led to the group's style being dubbed "the great nudity". Although the influence of the Bauhaus was clear, the UAM kept a careful distance from activities in Germany. In the wake of World War I there was bad blood between the neighbours, so no matter how much they admired the works -of Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe UAM members did not admit as much.

There were, at any rate, considerable discrepancies between the Modern styles in Germany and France. Although the French embraced materials such as tubular steel and plate glass, they used them with greater grace and elegance than the Germans, who preferred to keep their designs unerringly concise. The second UAM president, Rene Herbst, was among the first in France experiment with tubular steel. A keen advocate of low-cost mass production, which he said would "provide a healthy home for every family", he was also active at the affluent end of the market, designing, in 1930, a Paris apartment for the Prince Aga Khan.

A close friend of Herbst, and a member of UAM, was the architect and designer Pierre Chareau. lt was Chareau who designed an icon of the Modem era, the Maison de Verre. Built from glass bricks and exposed iron beams in 1928, the house caused a stir in Paris. lt was some time later that Chareau translated his bold approach into furniture design. After years of designing luxurious furniture, he eventually developed a leaner style. Chareau's desks of wood and bent-iron strips appeared almost mechanized.

This mechanical aesthetic, startling enough in the work of Chareau, was taken to even further extremes by Jean Prouve, who was younger than many UAM members. "In my opinion", Prouve once said, "furniture design requires the same procedure as any other building construction", which is perhaps why his designs appear so robust. Based in the small town of Nancy, the prolific Prouve took an energetic and fearless approach to furniture design. If French designers were accused of shying away from the raw vocabulary of industry in the early interwar years, Prouve's work was inarguable proof that their attitudes changed considerably.

Belgian Pavillon (V. Horta, architect)
The Moser Garden, (Marrast, architect)
The Lalique Fountain
One of the restaurant towers

The fountains of light on the Alexandre III Bridge The Lights of the Exhibition

The Swedish Pavilion (Bergsten, archit.) and the Fountain, ”The Offering” (Aronson, sculpt.)

The Atrium of the Swedish Pavilion

A corner of the Atrium in the Swedish Pavilion(Bergsten, archit.)

The Church of the French Village

The Czechoslovakian Pavillion (Prof. Gočár, archit.)

The door leading to the grand staircase.

The Pavilions of Great Britain (Easton and Robertson, archit.) and Italy (Brabini, archit.)

The Central Hall of the West African Pavilion (Olivier, archit.)

The Pergola

The Pavilion of the City of Paris

The Gardens in front of the Pavillion Fountain. (Roux-Spitz, archit, and Martial, sculpt.)

The Japanese House: the living room. (Yamada and Iwakichi, archit.)

The Salon of Honor of the Manufacture National de Sevres. (Decoration of Jaulmes)

THe Architects Club. (P. Tourbon, Archit.)

Pavilion of the Louvre. (Laprade, Archit.)

Pavilion of the Chambre syndicale des Diamantaires (Lambert, Saacke, Bailly, archit.)

Metal Vase, by Dunand (Height 2 meters)

Home of a rich collector: The Salon de musique, by Ruhlmann

Pavillion of Provence (Dallest, Castel and Tournon, archit.)

Pavillon of Tourism (Mallet Stevens, archit.)

Carrara marble niche with bowl of colored glass.

The large entrance hall of the Italian Pavilion. (Prof. Armando Brasini, Archit.)

The Esplanade des Invalides illuminated

The Fountain of Swans

Pavillon de la Maison Ringuet

Pavillon du Clos Normand. (Lelong and Chirol, archit.)

The French Village. (Building under the direction of Mr. Ch. Genuys)

In the garden of the Paris pavilion - The illusions and the regret

Netherlands Pavilion (Staal, archit.)

Greece Pavillon (Shyrianos, archit.)

The garden between the Mulhouse Pavilion and the home of a collector (Vacherot, archit.)

The Provence Pavillion (Dallest, Castel and Tournon, archit.)

Entrance to the village of Jouet (Pelletier Bros., archit.)

One of the entries of the foreign sections Fresco by Jean Adler; Carving by Bouchard

Pavilion by the Society of Alumni of the School of Decorative Arts of Paris (Bernard, archit.)

Foreign Sections building at the entrance to University and Fabert streets. (Herseher, archit.)

Salon of the National School of Fine Arts. (Laborie, archit.)

Porte des Chimères, in front of the Hôtel des Invalides (A. Levard, arch.)

The Gate of Honor at Avenue Nicholas II Executed by Brandt.

The Denmark Pavilion (Kay Fischer, archit.)

Decoration for a large hall of ceremonies by P. Landowski - The Wall of Christ

The pedestrian bridge over Boulevard de Latour-Maubourg, at the entrance to the Invalides bridge. (O. Collin, archit.)

The Austrian Pavilion - outdoor patio at the hall of music (J. Hoffman, archit.)

On the Alexander III bridge. Decor Central

The Hall of Honor of the Grand Palais

Museum of Modern Art, Interior. (Sue and Mare, archit.)

In the garden of the Paris Pavilion "The Illusions and the Regret" (Sculptures in Stone by Mlle. Heuvelmans)

Interior of the Great Britain Pavilion (Easton and Robertson, archit.)

The monumental entrance at the Place de la Concorde(Pierre Patout, archit.)

Mulhouse Pavilion (A. Ventre, archit.; Launay, collaborateur.)

The Three Barges, by Paul Poiret

The Fountains of Light by Paul Poiret Watercolors by Savignac

One of the booths of L'illustration. (Lambert, Saacke et Bailly archit.)

Stained glass window by G. Jeannin Composition by C. Mazard

Architectural Decor and Floral Gardens, on the Esplanade des Invalides (J.H. Lambert, archit.)

Perspective View of the Exhibition Watercolor Drawing by J.H. Lambert — Right and left schemas and legends for the pavilions and attractions.

Waiting Room - The Ministry Of Fine Arts. Edted By Barbedienne (Roux-Spitz, Archit.)

Porcelain Vase by Sevres "The Pleasures of the River" Made by Fournier - Designed by Jaulmes (Ht. 2 meters)

Panneau Decorative Panel by Madame Pangon (Silk Velvet): "The Inspiration"

The Pavilions and Gardens of the Sevres National Factory

The House of Siegel Boutique (P. Petit, archit.)

The Garden of the City of Paris, Fountain of the Swans (MM Loyau, sculpt .; Courtois, arch.)

Metal and Ceramic Classroom (Sezille and Rapin, archit.)

The Cinema Screen for the Hall of Congress

The Hall of Congress (Haubold and Magne, archit.)

Pavilion of Spring (Sauvage, archit.)

The Ceramics and Glassworks League

In the French village. The bakery (A. Levard, archit.)

In the French village. The bakery; Sales counters (A. Levard, archit.)

Shop of the house Luce. ( Sezille, archit.)

Moroccan souks and diorama of North Africa (Sauvage, archit.)

Dining room for an Embassy. (Sezuille, Selmersheim et Rapin, archit.)

Lounge for an Embassy (Rapin, archit.)

Pavilion of the Commissioner General of the Exposition. (Chretien Lalanne, archit.)

Pavilion of the house Fontanis. (Eric Bagge, Archit.)

Pavilion of the City of Paris (R. Bouvard, archit.)

Pavilion of Spain(Bravo, archit.)

One of the four great Towers; Restaurants and Wines of France. (Plumet, archit.) Watercolor by Bailly.

Pavilion of the Colonies. (Blanche father and son, archit.)

Pavillon of Poland (Cjarkowski, archit.)

Interior of the Commissariat general. (Chretien Lalanne, archit.)

Batik of Mrs. Pangon. Silk velvet dressing

Pavillion of Bon Marche (Boileau, archit.)

The Barge Restaurant (Sezille, archit.) Watercolors by Rabin

Gallery of the Frence Sections and entrance to Saint-Dominique and Constantine Streets (Ferret, archit.

The Ceramics Gallery (Sezille and Rapin, archit.)

The Spring Pavillion (Sauvage, archit.)

The Great Britain Pavillion (Easton and Robertson, archit.)

An Embassy Dining Room (Sezille, Selmersheim and Rapin, archit.)

An Embassy Lounge (Rapin, archit.)

The LaLique Fountain (Watercolors by H. Renaucourt)