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).
The apartment is open plan, with spaces that can be closed off with with huge doors or mobile elements. Light streams in through the windows, refractive glass Nevada bricks or roof lights – Le Corbusier wished to replicate the light he experienced on his visits to the Mediterranean. Finding the light to be even too strong in the studio, he tempered it by adding wooden blinds on the eastern facade.
Le Corbusier furnished his home according to the esthetic codes of the Modernist Movement. The kitchen units were designed by Charlotte Perriand, and some of the iconic pieces of furniture designed by Le Corbusier himself can also be found in the living area.
The bed is interestingly placed high up so he could see the views across Boulogne, even when he was lying down.
On the 8th floor there is a guest suite and a roof terrace with spectacular views across out to the west of the city:
For fans of Le Corbusier, or all fans of architecture in general, this is a fascinating visit. The apartment is only open on Saturdays. You can buy a combination ticket for reduced entry to the nearby Villa La Roche. If you have a bit more time and can take a day trip out of the city, don’t miss the Villa Savoye, one of Le Corbusier’s iconic masterpieces.
Immeuble Molitor, 24 rue Nungesser et Coli, Boulogne-Billancourt. Metro: Michel Ange Molitor or Porte d’Auteuil. Open Saturdays 10:00 – 13:00 and 13:30 – 17:00
Next, discover the incredible Modernist Maison de Verre in Paris, only open for visit to those with architectural backgrounds and read about the secrets of the Eiffel Tower. This article was originally published on Paris Here and There.