Docomomo International would like to draw your attention to the alarming situation of the Maison Zilveli, designed by Jean Welz, Paris, France, 1933. This masterpiece is threatened with demolition by the proprietor in order to almost double the accommodation.
The two storey home sits on the top of a hillside on stilts, in a narrow strip of land just 6 meters by 30 meters, and suspended five meters above the ground. It is rectangular shaped measuring 20 meters long by 4.5 meters wide and hovers over the cliffside with one window that frames the view over Montmartre and the basilica of Sacre Coeur and another facing south with a view of the Eiffel Tower. It included a balcony that was subsequently destroyed, and the interiors were divided into split-level spaces according to functional hierarchy.
The house had very little repair or maintenance over its life, and as of January 2020 it is wrapped “Christo” style by the Town Hall against bits falling off. It went to auction three times, the first buyer failed to pay, by the third it was said to be in the hands of Jean-Paul Goude, eminent image-maker (eg Grace Jones) and graphic designer who was rumoured to want it as a gallery for his art work (he lives next-door but one). The future of this avant-garde masterpiece remains in the balance but Goude’s creative background may make him sensitive to Jean Welz’s striking achievement and insist on a painstaking restoration respecting the fabric and keeping it virtually 100% original.
Docomomo International would like to encourage you to sign the petition to save Maison Zilveli: link.
For further information on Maison Zilveli, please read the article by Peter Wyeth on Iconic Houses website and to know more about the architect Jean Welz, please refer to the book The Lost Architecture of Jean Welz, soon to be published November this year.