Under the aegis of the Fondation du patrimoine, the La Ruche-Seydoux Foundation is appealing for donations to raise 3 million euros to restore the Fernand Léger building. The renovation, under the direction of architect Michel Freudiger, is scheduled for 2021.
Bringing the Fernand Léger building up to standard is part of a major program to restore the Ruche-Seydoux, initiated in 2010 with the renovation of the Rotonde. The Fernand Léger building is a large complex of more than 1600 m² that houses some twenty artists' studios and exhibition rooms. The building is outdated and needs to be refurbished and brought up to standard in the workshops, which the moderate rents paid by the artists cannot cover. The renovation work will make it possible to accommodate new artists in a durable and reliable structure.
The project has been awarded the label Patrimoine d'intérêt régional de la Région Île-de-France. 300,000 € and 500,000 € have already been raised thanks to the support of the Mission Stéphane Bern and the company Gecina (as part of the "Never Again!" collection). The appeal for donations launched today by the La Ruche-Seydoux Foundation aims to collect the 3 million euros needed to restore the Fernand Léger building. This will ensure the safety and accessibility of people, thermal insulation and the restoration of the façades, redoing the building's roofs and superstructures and ensuring the durability of the interior installations.
La Ruche, Montparnasse's artists' city, was built in 1903 by the sculptor Alfred Boucher. The majority of the buildings in this space buzzing with artistic activities were constructed from salvaged elements, resulting from the demolition of various temporary buildings from the 1900 Universal Exhibition, but also from the Bordeaux Wine Pavilion designed by Gustave Eiffel. As a result, the architecture and insulation were precarious. The place welcomed various creators: Soutine, Zadkine, Chagall, Krémègne on the one hand, Fernand Léger, Cendrars, Apollinaire, Rebeyrolle, Martial Raysse or Arroyo on the other hand.
"For this place so original, marked by the imprint of Gustave Eiffel, radiating the talents of the resident artists, the architectural work is an integral part of the history of La Ruche. Its rehabilitation must be pursued in this spirit to be able to welcome new artists and amplify its vitality" says Jérôme Clément, the president of the La Ruche-Seydoux Foundation. Created in 1973, by Bernard Anthonioz Geneviève and René Seydoux, at a time when the city was threatened with destruction, the La Ruche-Seydoux Foundation's mission is to bring to life this place open to all the arts. Today, some forty artists from all walks of life - Korea, Iraq, the United States, Greece, Iran - still work and create there.