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Le Corbusier’s Radiant City

On my rather wonderful honeymoon in the south of France, my wife(!) and I spent a day living the Le Corbusier vision at his seminal Unité d’Habitation development, Marseille. Dubbed “the city in the sky”, this was a revolutionary experiment in urban living when it was built between 1947 and 1952.

Unité exterior

Set amongst the many residents of this imposing block (337 apartments), 2 floors function as a hotel and restaurant (part of Le Corbusier’s original plans) with each guest studio preserved exactly as it was in the 1950s, bar a flat screen tv and a new shower!

Corbusier interior

The experience is unlike any other hotel I’ve stayed in, sharing the corridors (referred to by residents as “streets” due to their immense width) and lifts with its residents enforces the experience of living in a building such as this.

Unité ‘street’

It was fantastic to be a part of a vision that has remained truly intact over half a century later. Every light fixing, every wooden panel, every inch of space had been considered and designed and it’s not often one can witness such a complete piece of work from a designer.

Unité exterior

Much information can be found on the web but here are two starters for you, one on Le Corbusier and the other “Cité Radieuse”

Unité roof