Guy Rottier

Maison de vacances volante, 1963-1964

In March 1964, with the collaboration of Charles Barberis, Guy Rottier exhibited the Maison de vacances volante (Flying Vacation Home) at the Domestic Arts Show (Salon des Arts Ménagers) in Paris. This house consists of a caravan-cum-helicopter whose plastic shell can house a family of four (two adults and two children). The design, inspired by caravans and prefabricated bungalows, is comprised of a cockpit, a den with a bed for the parents and bunk beds for the children, a mini kitchen and a mini toilet-shower. The 4.90 m by 2.90 m shell is made of plastic. The machine is also equipped with a turbine and compressor propulsion system. The fuel tank, located under the floor of the shell, allows for a travelling range of 50 to 100 km. The machine only requires a landing area of 10 square meters. “This type of vacation dwelling makes accessible places that, until now, have been reserved exclusively for mountain climbers. As for the area that can be covered, vast parks can be set up, outside of which it would be preferable not to move about, in order to avoid mixing with other types of houses.” (G.R.) For the architect, this manifesto-house simultaneously stated freedom of expression in architecture, as well as the freedom to choose the site and construction materials. It offered “the luxury of escaping and of playing with laws, minds, ownerships, in other words, allowing oneself a bit of freedom. It was an idea that could have become a reality, an idea that will one day come true.” (Guy Rottier)

Nadine Labedade

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