Purchase of the Villa Fallet by the City of La Chaux-de-Fonds


The City of La Chaux-de-Fonds has acquired a building that is emblematic of the local variant of Art Nouveau called the Style Sapin. This house was built in 1906 according to plans by Charles Édouard Jeanneret, the future Le Corbusier.

Louis-Édouard Fallet, engraver and jeweller, member of the Commission of the School of Art and contributor to the Revue internationale de l’horlogerie, entrusted the design of his future house to the students of the Cours supérieur d’art et de décoration, under the supervision of their master Charles L’Eplattenier and the architect René Chapallaz. Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, then an engraving student, was entrusted with the development of the plans, which he produced under the direction of the architect.

The Villa Fallet bears witness to the meeting of the Heimatstil and the regionalist Art Nouveau known as the Style Sapin. The interweaving of architectural and ornamental vocabulary leads to a unique synthesis. The research of the students of the Cours Supérieur d’Art et de Décoration focused as much on the layout and plans of the house as on its ornamentation and materials. The tour de force of this group of students is to have integrated the decorative elements of the Style Sapin into a Heimatstil architecture to make a coherent whole. The construction of the villa is thus a practical application of the courses given by Charles L’Eplattenier, who wished to integrate the ornamental vocabulary into domestic architecture and not only into industrial production.

The decoration of Style Sapin is a real collective practical work of the students of the Cours supérieur d’Art et de Décoration, who benefit from the innovative teaching of Charles L’Eplattenier. Although it is not possible to identify who did what, there is a wide range of interventions and decorative experiments in ironwork, woodwork, stonework and façade plastering. The motifs of the tree and the snow are used in many different ornamental forms, both inside and outside. Every detail is a variation of the motifs of the Jura landscape.

The Style Sapin is used in all the decorative elements, making the Villa Fallet a total work of art. The ornamentation is homogeneous and of great simplicity.

With a volume of 1,410 m3, the Villa Fallet is spread over two floors of living space completed by a basement and attic.
A vast garden of 1,619 m2 extends to the south of the villa for a total surface area of 1,886 m2.

With the Old Crematorium and the Salon bleu of the Spillmann flat, the City of La Chaux-de-Fonds can now protect and enhance three emblematic places of its artistic heritage.