Slow Is Fast

Rupture, the network of cultural and hybrid concept stores founded by Alexandre Sap and Anne-Marie Gaultier, is expanding outside Paris.
After the café-disquaire Rupture Record, and the bookshop-gallery Rupture Arts & Books located in rue du Vertbois, the duo, associated with Benoit Migneaux, has just acquired the publishing house Imbernon and the mythical bookshop of the same name, located in the heart of the Cité Radieuse Le Corbusier in Marseille.


In 2001, Katia Imbernon and Jean-Lucien Bonillo created the Imbernon publishing house with the editorial ambition to retrace the history of architecture from the 20th to the 21st century, including art and urban planning issues. The same year, they chose the 3rd street of Le Corbusier's housing unit to set up their bookshop with, at the beginning, only one work, that of Jean-Lucien Bonillo. It was also a wonderful showcase for all their literary and artistic inspirations.

The couple works together in publishing and releases 20 books (1 per year) — presented in Frankfurt, London, Switzerland and Seoul.
And on the shelves of the bookshop, the meticulous selection of books on art, architecture and urban planning features a large number of international works, including the most important collection of reference works — in all languages — “by and” “about” Le Corbusier.

After 20 years of publication and new publishing seasons at the bookshop, the Bonillo-Imbernon couple has found a very legitimate successor with Rupture.


Rupture is an international network of cultural venues. A window on the world turning its gaze towards the East, following the silk road, the path of cultural and philosophical exchanges, yesterday based in Paris, today in Marseille, tomorrow in Venice and elsewhere.

« Rupture was built on the principles of “slow culture” on the fringes from new publishing seasons and blockbusters, and is the antithesis of the instantaneity of our current era. The ambition of our concept stores is to let the time of creation operate, to allow yourself to be surprised by a book, a vinyl, a work of art. Our shops are hybrids, without borders, so that everyone’s curiosity can wander ” Anne-Marie Gaultier.

Alexandre Sap and his partners intend to « put time back at the centre of everything », to celebrate living artists — throughout publications — and to return to the place’s initial mission : to be open to travelers, tourists, but also and above all to the 1 200 inhabitants of the Cité Radieuse.

« Le Corbusier and this housing unit mean a lot to me as an architecture and design enthusiast. I am proud to continue writing the history of his bookshop. I want it to be oriented towards the inhabitants of this “vertical village”, while remaining fully open to the world. » Alexandre Sap.


There, behind the vertical sunshades, the venue — which featured in the Gestalten list of the « most beautiful bookshops in the world » — continues its destiny, sublimated by Pierre Gonalons — who was already responsible for the design of the two Parisian addresses.

The architect and designer brings together the concrete, glass and ceramics (repetition) that were dear to Le Corbusier with the softness of a Duvivier armchair (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant), the iridescent patina of a curtain from Métaphores, and the warmth of a bar whose coffee fragrances invite us to set the world to rights. A few works of art and book objects punctuate the space: a Jean Prouvé window, Cadestin chairs — designed in the 70s to furnish the Beaubourg library — an unpublished book and vase by Gaetano Pesce, lighting fixtures by Louis Kalff and Masiero, here a photograph by Lucien Hervé, there the original drawing by Peter Markli.

« From the first time I discovered the place, it seemed essential to me to return to the ground and therefore to the original base. The original anchorage. And because colour — very emblematic of Le Corbusier’s work — particularly resonates with my approach to the space, I chose to use his emblematic palette. Shades now offered by the Keim company with whom we collaborated.
While keeping the initial structure of the space, we made the flow more fluid, created a small reading room and a work surface between the office and the bookshop. And this office block, painted in Carmine red, like a room within a room, echoes Le Corbusier’s famous “Cabanon”.
A nod to the man and his works off-site. »
Pierre Gonalons.

Rupture & Imbernon is a bookshop on the move, providing a precise and valuable selection. Always specialising in the work of Le Corbusier, such as architecture, urbanism and the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries, it also mixes new and rediscovered books, fine books and fine art in a singular, unexpected and refined setting. The programme is dense and aims to give rhythm to the whole building: exhibitions, signatures, meetings, readings, conferences... One comes here to find what one cannot find or no longer finds elsewhere, and to be enthusiastic about what one did not come to look for. A precious address.

"We are fervent admirers of these committed booksellers who give their place a soul and present their favourites. My main job is to build living spaces, and here I am proud to participate in the renovation of a mythical address, and I am particularly enthusiastic about the continuation of the publishing activity.  »
Benoit Migneaux.


With this new presence in Marseilles, Rupture continues to build and develop its network of cultural and exchange branches. Eyes now riveted on the East, in the wake of the Silk Road, an opening is confirmed in Venice at the beginning of 2023 within the framework of the Architecture Biennale, then Athens and Istanbul.