Le Corbusier’s Iconic Architectural Polychromy Featured in Sea Point Apartment
German-based, Lawrence Wilcox, infuses his love for modernist architecture with the beauty of Cape Town in this one-of-a-kind apartment. The lofty two-bedroom apartment in Sea Point’s Ten on Q (developed by Blok) was purchased off-plan by Lawrence and his wife some years ago. Attracted to the modernist feel of the space, Lawrence, a lifelong fan of modernism (particularly mid-century modern), knew that Le Corbusier's Architectural Polychromy was just what he needed to liven up the lacklustre interior. This conviction and passion were the driving forces behind the completion of his project, as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world right when he got started, introducing an additional set of challenges to this already unique venture.
Lawrence’s love for modernism led him to discover an icon of the movement, Le Corbusier. As Lawrence learned more about Le Corbusier, he found himself drawn to the architect’s philosophies and design style, to the point where he travelled to Lake Geneva and Marseilles to see the places Le Corbusier designed and built. When it came to designing his Sea Point apartment with The Architectural Polychromy, Lawrence drew inspiration from his travels and online sources, creating a Pinterest board to collect all his ideas. While The Architectural Polychromy is well-known in Europe, it is almost non-existent in South Africa, prompting Wilcox to look for Les Couleurs Le Corbusier-licensed paint companies to manufacture and import the paints, thus discovering KEIM. At the same time, Lawrence approached Alessandra Pisi Joncoux of Pisi Design, an architect and specialist in the Le Corbusier colour range, to create the colour scheme for the apartment. Reflecting the colours of Lion’s Head Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, Pisi’s design has not only breathed colourful life into the space but has also altered the concept of space and volume, fulfilling the purpose of The Architectural Polychromy. One of the many amazing feats of this project is Pisi and Wilcox developing this design solely based on pictures of the flat, as working remotely was the only way to get things done during the pandemic.
The next challenge was bringing the paints from KEIM, a German-based paint company, to South Africa and finding a painter who knew how to work with the premium, mineral-based paints. The universe smiled upon Lawrence as he found Jan Ochsmann, a fellow German painter who specialises in heritage buildings and mineral paints, through the same importing company bringing the paints into the country. The architecture firm, Pisi Design, was behind the selection of the colours.
The blue shade featured here is 32032 céruléen moyen
The lounge area features 32131 ombre brûlée claire
The built-in shelving features 32012 gris moyen, 32140 ombre naturelle 31, 32121 terre sienne brique with 32031 céruléen vif on the shelf below.
This passion project was a true depiction of the love Wilcox has for Le Corbusier and The Architectural Polychromy as the challenges to get it done during the pandemic seemed endless at times. Despite it all, Wilcox stuck to his decision, and the end results are definitely worth it. Lawrence hopes to inspire designers and architects in Cape Town by using Architectural Polychromy, so that they incorporate it into their future projects and expand awareness in South Africa through Les Couleurs© Le Corbusier.
Interiors: © 360 Design
Photo: © Greg Cox