Charlotte Perriand’s first meeting with the imperious, bespectacled Le Corbusier is the stuff of architectural legend. When she, a precocious Arts Décoratifs graduate with a Josephine Baker crop, approached the great man for a job, he replied, “We don’t embroider cushions here.”

Then he and his cousin and partner, Pierre Jeanneret, saw her Bar sous le Toit, a hip space with metal stools she had confected for her tiny Saint-Sulpice apartment at the 1927 Salon d’Automne, and Le Corbusier knew he had made a mistake. He immediately offered her a spot among his devoted disciples in his interiors program.