“La Cité Radieuse” by Le Corbusier

Many people ask me about the photographs I took when I visited “La Cité Radieuse” in Marseille.

Why did you photograph with a plastic camera, the HOLGA camera?

I mostly tell people that in contrast to the great art  Le Corbusier created, I wanted to make a few photos without the equipment and the technique, one usually use to capture great architecture.

Very quick snapshots and it’s almost like every straight angle isn’t really strait!

Here’s a little background to the project of the Cité Radieuse and I will  quote:

J. Sbriglio, architect & member of Le Corbusier Foundation.

Architecte , membre de la fondation
The idea to build the Cité Radieuse is the result of a research program that Le Corbusier oversaw for almost twenty-five years. The aim was to find a new architectural response to the problem of collective housing at a time when France was experiencing a severe housing shortage.

According to Le Corbusier, the Unité d’Habitation creates a social space in which the individual and the collective are equally balanced. The central idea of the model remains simple: it’s to build on artificial grounds individual flats that are placed within the logic of a collective structure. The building itself stands on stilts. The way in which the Unité is organized and the integrated services it offers are meant to enrich social life in the building. By doing so, Le Corbusier invents a town object that transcends the ordinary functions of housing.

While hovering between theoretical grandeur and experimental design, Le Corbusier makes use of industrial management practices introduced during the two World Wars.

Some of my photographs of this “monumental” creation by Le Corbusier.

This project was accepted in 1945, and it was really one of his dreams to build, people started to move in around the year of 1952.

And I, will definitely visit the “cité” next time I go back to Marseille!

For further information check out: http://marseille-citeradieuse.org

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