James Guitet

Etude d'une demeure biologique, 1963-1965

This Biological Dwelling is a house under a dome, inspired by the natural system of a cell and its “internal urbanism.” James Guitet wrote: “The organization of the dwelling, the distribution of its elements into their volumes and their functions corresponds to the structure of a living cell. The cell not only serves as the storehouse of DNA, but also its energy field.” The bedroom, which is the most intimate and secret place in the house, is located at its center, from which the various vital elements unfold. These elements protect the bedroom, which becomes the least accessible and most protected room, “the bottom of the shell.” The bathroom is an important part of the bedroom and partakes of its intimacy opening broadly into it by means of a sliding door. James Guitet designed a bathtub in the shape of a shell for this bathroom, which he called the Bath of Venus. Michel Ragon pointed out that “while the architecture of the bedroom is dominated by the "poetry of the shell,” the one of the bathroom is dominated by the "poetry of water,” the dining room is designed with the “poetry of substances" (wood, ceramics, fireplace) and the study is done with the "poetry of the labyrinth." In this project, James Guitet constantly played with the relationship between the interiorization and exteriorization of the house. It is a veritable living cell and it occupants become the DNA.

Nadine Labedade

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