At the end of a path in the gravel leading from the centre of Raon-Step (Vosges) are located eleven houses-bubbles, designed by the swiss architect Pascal Häusermann in 1967. The whole estate will be sold at auction on Friday with a starting price of 100,000 euros. The white houses with round shapes is a bit worn, the foam is installed here and there. The setting is bucolic: the willows at the border of the land of 4100 m2, separated from the rest of the municipality by a water course, the Plain.
In 1967, the swiss architect Pascal Häusermann has been installed on this piece of land surrounded by water eleven bubbles, which are composed of a metal structure and sailing of shotcrete, at the request of a hotel. Nine were dedicated to tourist rental, a main building of 150 m2 was up the reception with two large rooms upstairs and a technical room, to be 405 m2 of living space in all. In 2006, five friends, “the old punks, old rockers” in search of a new life at the dawn of their forty years, buy “the island Häusermann” for 180,000 euros, says Laurence Euvrard, one of them.
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Since their creation, the bubbles have been five owners and had been left abandoned for a decade, in the 1990s. “We wanted to save this place that was not in so good state as this” and that was in the process of losing his mind from the years 1950 to 1970, so dear to the heart of “the merry band of buddies”, explains Bruno Tourmen, one of the owners. “We had a big year of work, everything was still time. He had to do it all over again to be the standards” and turn it into a shelter, remembers Laurence Euvrard. “I don’t know even the price of windows. I just remember that it took two years for all the change,” sliding-t-it.
Pascal Häusermann don’t like right angles – they prefer the curves and the corners, woodwork, curtains and furniture are custom made. The nine bubbles, from 25 m2 to 40 m2 in size, have been decorated by color – green, purple, blue, etc. – and by theme – Pop-art, psychedelic, chlorophyll, love – in the spirit of the 1950s to the 1970s. On the ground, there are mosaics of black and white or with small brown tiles. Large windows with a slope, not quite octagonal, open on nature and the river.
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“be Careful, there is a step higher than the other,” warns the owner in amount to the floor of the bubble, the more extensive. “We asked Pascal Häusermann why there was a course different, but it’s not remembered more. He thinks that it is because of the alcohol!”, guffaws-t-it. The five friends have a great deal of discussion with the swiss artist, the precursor of the “blob architecture”, focusing on organic forms. Two years before his death in 2011, he had paid a visit had stayed in one of its achievements.
At the re-opening of the bubble-like structure hotel building in August 2007, renamed Museumotel, customers were pouring in from around the world. Las! Between the economic crisis, the weight of bank loans, and the geographical location of Raon-Step, away from the ski slopes in the vosges, the cottage has been placed in receivership in 2015, a year in which the island Häusermann has been classified as historic monuments -and then closed. The entire collection will be auctioned on Friday, in Épinal.
“It’s hard. It has worked so much… We have tried all the solutions,” sighed Laurence Euvrard. “There is an interest important enough to the well”, stresses Pierre-Yves Picot bailiff in connection with the auction.