La Cité Radieuse by Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier, France 1956
 

Le Corbusier, France 1956

Photo by André Villers


 

Unité d’Habitation is the modernist housing design concept developed by Le Corbusier in collaboration with painter-architect Nadir Afonso. It formed the basis of several housing developments with this name that Le Corbusier designed throughout Europe. The first and most famous of these, a building also known as La Cité Radieuse (Radiant City) or, informally, as La Maison du Fada (Provencal French for ‘the house of madness’) is located in Marseille and was built between 1947 and 1952. It is one of Le Corbusier’s most famous works and arguably the most influential Brutalist building of all time. Rather than employing the smooth white surfaces that typified many of his buildings, Le Corbusier chose to create this building in béton brut concrete, which takes on the texture of the wooden planks that formed its shuttering. “Made for men, it is made to the human scale,” he said. “It has also the robustness which is inherent in modern technique, and it shows the new splendour of bare concrete”. With its human proportions, chunky legs and interior ‘streets’, it redefined high-density housing by re-imagining a city inside an 18-storey block. La Cité Radieuse has successfully accommodated a mix of uses ever since it was completed. Its 337 apartments are home to up to 1,600 residents, but it also boasts two shopping streets, a hotel and a rooftop terrace.
 
- Copyright 2015 Mart Engelen
 
 
 

Rooftop of Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse, Marseille 2012
 

Rooftop of Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse, Marseille 2012

Photo by Mart Engelen

 
 

La Cité Radieuse, Marseille 2012
 

La Cité Radieuse, Marseille 20122

Photo by Mart Engelen