The enduring genius of Le Corbusier was his ability to marry innovative function and bold expressive style. Housed in his famous UNESCO registered “Radiant” City” building, this holiday home in Marseille was carefully restored to showcase all of his creativity and originality. We were struck by the powerful Brutalist form punctuated with ribbons of primary colors, the massive rooftop terraces and unique commercial spaces, and the surprising intimacy of the interiors.
Designed and built in 1952, the Radiant City is one of Le Corbusier’s most iconic and innovative buildings and was the first large scale project completed by the celebrated architect.
Constructed of concrete, the imposing Brutalist style and massive horizontal volume is supported by huge columns, creating an ocean liner-like effect. Commissioned as a unique post-war housing concept, the idea was to create a large scale, multifunctional building focused on communal living where residents could live, shop, play and even go to school all under one roof.
The vertical layout was designed to accommodate up to sixteen hundred residents, with a honeycomb of apartments, shops, galleries and hotel suites dispersed throughout the interiors with some of the most interesting exterior spaces dedicated to the rooftop where the small plunge pool and children’s school and playground overlook the the city and coast.
Designed in an unusual spatial twist on the traditional residential layout, each of the units span from each side of the building, and include a double height living space reducing the number of corridors to one every three floors. Located on the only shopping floor of the building just steps from the gourmet restaurant, bakery and shops, this bright and cheerful studio space was discovered by happy circumstance by a French couple who set about renovations after a fire partially damaged it. Faithfully and identically restoring the oak flooring and finishes along with the original kitchen stainless and structural features according to the restoration specifications of Bâtiments de France (ABF), the interiors look as they have since it was originally built. The compact design is intimate but faces outward to a balcony flooding the space with light. The living space features a cleverly disguised Murphy bed that doubles as the sofa and the unusual bathroom was designed in a ships cabin style which is repeated throughout the building.
Opting not to stick to just a mid century theme, the owners worked in collaboration with the ambitious designer and antiques dealer and decorator Regine Venot, and his son Guilhem Faget to populate the space with a unique blend of contemporary and vintage finds that perfectly complement the theme.
This holiday home in Marseille is a fascinating part of architectural history waiting to be discovered.
Wifi, TV, Bluetooth speaker, Nespresso coffee machine, laundry facilities, exclusive access to the panoramic rooftop with a badge, free parking in the building.
The bustling port city of Marseille owes its sometimes gritty reputation to the fact that it has been the hub of global trade for the country since Roman times and is a major crossroads of cultures and commerce. France’s second largest city, the harbor is flanked by the two imposing forts on either side and intersected by the Canebière boulevard stretching east from the Old Port to the Réformés quarter. The commercial center of the city intersects at rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse (the main shopping mall) with several pedestrian zones, including the area around the Hôtel de Ville, rue St Ferréol and Cours Julien near the Music Conservatory, and the Cours Honoré-d’Estienne-d’Orves off the Old Port. Le Panier neighborhood is the oldest in the city and sits just up the hill behind the center, while the stylish République quarter features the traditional and elegant Haussmannian style architecture and the Joliette area features the famous striped Cathédrale de la Major.
Marseille, France. Nearest Airport: Marseille Airport (30-45 mins)
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Year round
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Le Corbusierfrom €75/ nt
|$260 x 4||$1,040|
|Refundable Damage Deposit||$500|
|TOTAL (with Deposit)||$1,780|
100% refund for cancellations request by at (property’s local time). No refund if less than 14 days priors to arrival day.