Alvar Aalto-Maison Louis Carre-Paris-Architecture

Continuing on our exploration of the must-visit Modernist architectural masterpieces to visit in and around Paris, today we’ll look at the Maison Louis Carré about forty minutes south west of Paris. Louis Carré was an art collector with a gallery in Paris. In 1956 he commissioned the Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto to build a villa for him, and what you can visit today is an incredible combination of architecture and design, Aalto’s only remaining work in France.


Cite de Refuge-Le Corbusier-Paris

With a little planning and a Metro pass, fans of architect Le Corbusier can spend a full day in Paris visiting some of his most iconic works. Some are open for visits, others not, but all the ones listed below are easily visible and can all be seen in one day or two if you want to head out to the suburbs and add the iconic Villa Savoye to your list. Make sure you do the visits on a Saturday if you want to go inside Immeuble Molitor, Le Corbusier’s studio-apartment in Boulogne-Billancourt, just outside Paris.


grant's tomb-nyc-untapped citiesImage via Old-NYC

Big cities around the world boast impressive buildings and structures attracting many tourists eager to visit and experience the cities. Many like New York City also attracted (and continue to) immigrants who dreamed of opportunity. But there were others who would prey on the starry eyed and unsuspecting immigrants and tourists- con artists. Men like George Parker and Victor Lustig would become famous for “selling” famous city structures for upwards of $100,000. Here are some of those famous landmark scams spanning from New York, to Paris, and London(more…)

M.R. Sreenivasulu-Pen Refill Landmarks-India-Sydney Harbor Bridge-10Photo via M.R. Sreenivasulu

This may not be the way Bangalore software professional M.R. Sreenivasulu intended to become famous, but his miniature architectural models, constructed from thousands of plastic pen refills, have become so famous, his version of the Taj Mahal made it to the India Book of Records for “A Structure by Most Used Pen Refills” in 2012. In fact, he’s been building model landmarks since 2007, collecting pen refills as part of a “Say No to Plastic” campaign he launched. In total, he’s used eight kilograms of pen refills to build the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Space Needle from Seattle, Sydney Harbor Bridge, Charminar in India, and the Gateway of India.


Today, Le Corbusier’s legacy conjures up both images of Modernist villas, like the iconic Villa Savoye, and large, idealistic housing projects. On a far different scale, and far lesser known is an apartment building Boulogne-Billancourt, just outside the west side of Paris designed and built by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret between 1931 and 1934. The top two floors were Le Corbusier’s own apartment and studio in which he painted daily throughout his life. The apartment building is oriented east-west and overlooks on one side the Stade Jean Bouin (home of Parisian rugby team Stade Francais) and on the other side Roland Garros (the French Open, as it’s known around the world).



At Untapped Cities, the recent terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris hit extremely close to home. As the city recovers, it is important to remember Paris’ vibrant and sometimes tragic history so we can appreciate the city’s ongoing strength and vitality. While the New York Times recently featured vintage photographs of the blocks in the Paris attacks, Vincent Mahé’s new book, 750 Years in Paris, published by Nobrow Press, brings to live the City of Lights’ many triumphs and trials through architectural illustrations. Dating back to as early to 1265 and ending in 2015, Mahé focuses on a single block in the to highlight the historical events and time periods that have shaped this magical city.