The Savoye family had to abandon their house in 1941 due to the ever increasing danger of being Jewish in Nazi-occupied France. The German occupation forces soon after ceased the building using it to stock hay and later in
the war poured concrete down the toilettes shortly before fleeing from the advancing Allied forces.
The Savoye family returned to their house after the liberation of France but without the financial means to make it livable again. Though still owning the large piece of land surrounding the house, they moved to a nearby farm and started cultivating the land. The once internationally hailed Villa Savoye was subsequently used as a barn to store crops and farming equipment which only furthered its deterioration.
It's hard to imagine that one of the world's most important and influential buildings in modern architecture survived these harsh trials. Thanks to worldwide protests from the architectural community, Villa Savoye barely even avoided demolishment in 1959 when the municipality of Poissy - who had just bought the house and land from the Savoyes - wanted to make room for a public school.
The French minister of culture, André Malraux, fortunately intervened and Villa Savoye was finally designated as a historical French monument in 1965. Surprisingly it was left to further deteriorate for more than 20 years before undergoing three series of complicated restoration in 1987-95. It has since been opened to the public.
A discrete poster in the metro led us to a fantastic exhibition at Palais Galliera showing French fashion from 1947-57 by Dior, Chanel, Balmain and many more. A very glamorous experience in postwar elegance not to mention amazing craftsmanship and material sensibility. Sadly, it was not allowed to take pictures but here's a vintage photo from 1950 showing the revolutionary fashion designer Christian Dior surrounded by models wearing his designs.
Of course there was no way around Gustave Eiffel's absolutely amazing steel structure from 1889, the
Made by cabinetmaker Giordano Chiesa (c. 1950).