Thursday, 31 July 2008
Le Corbusier's Cité Radieuse (Unité d'habitation) in Marseille (1956-52) represents the architects vision for collective housing after the war.
Over the last few years the building has been rediscovered after a period of neglect. It's now very bobo and apartments are pricey. It's a collective and so apartments for sale are advertised on little cards on a notice board in the foyer or as I suspect is more often the case, are sold to friends.
The Hotel Le Corbusier is great for design and architectural nerds as it gives you the chance to stay in the original apartments. The rooms haven't been altered much and have most of the original fittings. The hotel has a restaurant with a small terrace for views of the sea and the city.
The feeling of collectivity seems to have returned to the building. The gym and kindergarden on the roof appear to be well used. There's a design book shop, small grocers and various businesses, mostly architects offices.
For those thinking of visiting Marseille or those in Paris thinking of taking the TGV down to Marseille for the weekend, this is the ideal opportunity to stay in a slice of architectural history.