Antti Lovag

Architect (1920 - 2014)

Antti Lovag does not consider himself to be an architect but rather a “habitologist”. His collaboration with Jacques Couëlle, one of the earliest architects in France to develop organic architecture, led him to design the first prototype of a “bubble house” in 1969. Unlike a traditional house, designed as one volume to be divided, this one is made up of the juxtaposition of spheres that open into each other. It can be enlarged according to the needs of its inhabitants by simply adding new bubbles. Antti Lovag notably used concrete veils sprayed onto a specific type of iron framework of fiber-reinforced cement to develop his spherical and cylindrical spaces. Beyond its attractive aesthetics, this research conveys an ethic of architecture in which the user, creator and builder is the master of his built environment. In the 1970s, he formed a partnership with Chanéac and Häusermann on the evolving habitat in order to promote this idea of self-construction and proposed a catalog offering a range of pods to choose from. Lovag developed fabrication techniques for resistant and functional skins that were simple and low cost, which he made available to all free of charge. “Architecture does not interest me. It is humanity, the human space that interests me – creating envelopes around human needs. I work like a tailor. I make made-to-measure envelopes; envelopes that can be reshaped at will (Antti Lovag).

Born in 1920 in Hungary, Antti Lovag studied naval and mechanical construction in Sweden before going on to study architecture in France, where he settled in 1947, after living in Turkey, Finland, Sweden and serving as a fighter pilot in World War II. Following his early research in the 1950s, working beside Jean Prouvé and Vladimir Bodiansky, he experimented with Jacques Couëlle on concrete shells and other bubbles employing various techniques, designing houses based on this principle for Antoine Gaudet in Tourrettes-sur-Loup, Pierre Bernard in Port-la-Galère and Pierre Cardin in l’Esquillon. He currently lives in Tourrettes-sur-Loup, in the first little experimental module he built in the early 1970s.

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