Architecture: eight examples of Le Corbusier architecture in Paris

Published on 13.03.2017
Visit Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in Poissy and then head off in search of other examples of his architecture in Paris – or vice versa. Here are eight buildings in Paris that serve as an introduction to the significance of his work.
Le Corbusier Villa La Roche
© FLC ADAGP 2017
Villa La Roche à Paris par Le Corbusier

Born in Switzerland, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (1887-1965), known as Le Corbusier, was one of the most important architects of the 20th century. In 1927, he declared his five principles, known as The Five Points of Modern Architecture: horizontal windows, pilotis, free designing of ground plans, roof gardens and free facades. These eight buildings in Paris serve as an ideal introduction to the significance of his work.


Maison Planeix, 24 bis, Boulevard Masséna, Paris 13th arrondissement

Built in 1927. Despite the apparent symmetry of the cubist facade, asymmetrical windows disturb the harmony of this building. Maison Planeix is part of Le Corbusier’s cycle of purist villas constructed between 1920 and 1930. It is also his only semi-detached residence. Advanced bookings are required for visitors: Tel. 01 45 83 73 50.

Cité de Refuge, 12, Rue Cantagrel, Paris 13th arrondissement 

Built in 1929. Commissioned to provide housing for up to 500 homeless people from the Salvation Army, the main innovation introduced by the Cité de Refuge is a forced-air system that made it one of the first air conditioned buildings in Paris. Advanced bookings are required for visitors: Tel. 01 53 61 82 00.

La Péniche Louis-Catherine, Quai d' Austerlitz, Paris 13th arrondissement 

Built in 1919. Commissioned as part of plans to guarantee Paris’ coal supply, this property was built using concrete because of the steal shortages of the day. Following its purchase by the Salvation Army in 1929, Le Corbusier built three separate vessels on the site, each housing the following facilities: a large dormitory with sleeping accommodation and storage space for 64 people, a canteen with a capacity for 36 people per sitting, a kitchen, sanitary facilities and a hanging garden. Currently undergoing renovation work, a new architecture centreis planned for the site.

Residence-workshop of painter Amédée Ozenfant, Square Montsouris, 14th arrondissement

Built in 1925. Constructed by Le Corbusier for a friend, painter Amédée Ozenfant, this residence-workshop stands out due to its large bay windows. Located a short distance from Parc Montsouris, the surrounding neighbourhood features a succession of properties that served as artists’ villas during the early-twentieth century, many of which were inhabited by painters from the nearby Ecole de Montparnasse. Not open to visitors.

Pavillon Suisse, Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, 17, Boulevard Jourdan, Paris 14th arrondissement

Built between 1929 and 1933. The Pavillon Suisse is a cuboid structure with a metal skeleton and pilotis. In constructing the property, Le Corbusier implemented his principles for treating a building as a “machine for living”. The three floors are divided into fifteen “habitable drawer cells”. See also: Le Corbusier’s Maison du Brésil, also located in the Cité Internationale Universitaire. Open every day (10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:00). Entry: €2 per person.

Immeuble Porte Molitor, 24 Rue Nungesser et Coli, Paris 16th arrondissement

Built between 1931 and 1934. Following completion, Le Corbusier made this apartment-workshop his home, which it remained until his death in 1965. This was the first residential building to have walls made entirely of glass in the history of architecture, while the furniture was the work of Charlotte Perriand. It is currently closed owing to renovation works, and is due to re-open on 27 February 2018.

Villa La Roche, 10, Square du Docteur Blanche, Paris 16th arrondissement
Built between 1923 and 1925. This villa, another that dates back to Le Corbusier’s purist period, is flooded with natural light thanks to its elevated horizontal windows. The interior spaces are therefore illuminated by a soft light, creating the perfect conditions for an exhibition of the paintings of owner Raoul La Roche. Open from Tuesday to Saturday (10:00 to 18:00) and on Mondays (13:30 to 18:00).

Cité de l’Architecture, 1, Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16th arrondissement
A life-size model of one of the apartments in Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse building in Marseille has been installed in the modern architecture gallery in the Cité de l’Architecture. The apartment, which is free to be explored by visitors, is open every day from 11:00 to 19:00, except Tuesdays. Late opening hours are on Thursdays.

And finally…

Villa Savoye, 82, Rue de Villiers, Poissy (Yvelines)

Built between 1928 and 1931. The Villa Savoye is considered to be one of Le Corbusier’s key works, and a starting point for all modern architecture. In 2016, it became one of 17 Le Corbusier properties to be made a world heritage site. To reach the property using public transport, take RER A to Poissy, then bus number 50 towards La Coudraie, alighting at Villa Savoye.


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