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  7. AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier

AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier

AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier
AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier

AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier +20

  • Architects

  • Location

    82 Rue de Villiers, 78300 Poissy, France
  • Architect

    Le Corbusier
  • References

    greatbuildings.com, wikiarquitectura.com, galinsky.com
  • Project Year

    1929
  • Photographs

From the architect. Situated in Poissy, a small commune outside of Paris, is one of the most significant contributions to modern architecture in the 20th century, Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier.  Completed in 1929, Villa Savoye is a modern take on a French country house that celebrates and reacts to the new machine age. 

The house single handedly transformed Le Corbusier’s career as well as the principles of the International Style; becoming one of the most important architectural precedents in the history.  Villa Savoye’s detachment from its physical context lends its design to be contextually integrated into the mechanistic/industrial context of the early 20th century, conceptually defining the house as a mechanized entity.

Le Corbusier is famous for stating, “The house is a machine for living.”  This statement is not simply translated into the design of a human scaled assembly line; rather the design begins to take on innovative qualities and advances found in other fields of industry, in the name of efficiency.

Courtesy of wikiarquitectura.com
Courtesy of wikiarquitectura.com

In response to his aspirations and admiration of mechanized design, Le Corbusier established “The Five Points” of architecture, which is simply a list of prescribed elements to be incorporated in design.  The Five Points of architecture can be thought of as Le Corbusier’s modern interpretation of Vitruvius’ Ten Books on Architecture, not literally in the sense of an instructional manual for architects, but rather a checklist of necessary components of design.  So much so that Villa Savoye is thoroughly tailored to Corbusier’s Five Points.

_Pilotis  

_Flat Roof Terrace

_Open Plan

_Ribbon Windows

_Free Façade  

At this point in Le Corbusier’s career, he became intrigued by the technology and design of steamships.  The simplistic, streamlined result born out of innovative engineering techniques and modular design had influenced Corbusier’s spatial planning and minimalistic aesthetic.  

The pilotis that support the decks, the ribbon windows that run alongside the hull, the ramps providing a moment of egress from deck to deck; all of these aspects served as the foundation of the Five Points of Architecture and are found in the overall composition of Villa Savoye.

Upon entering the site, the house appears to be floating above the forested picturesque background supported by slender pilotis that seem to dissolve among the tree line, as the lower level is also painted green to allude to the perception of a floating volume.

The lower level serves as the maintenance and service programs of the house.  One of most interesting aspects of the house is the curved glass façade on the lower level that is formed to match the turning radius of automobiles of 1929 so that when the owner drives underneath the larger volume they can pull into the garage with the ease of a slight turn.

Courtesy of wikiarquitectura.com
Courtesy of wikiarquitectura.com

The living quarters, or the upper volume, are fitted with ribbon windows that blend seamlessly into the stark, white façade, which void the façade(s) of any hierarchy.  The ribbon windows begin to play with the perception of interior and exterior, which does not fully become expressed until once inside.

However once inside, there becomes a clear understanding of the spatial interplay between public and private spaces.  Typically, the living spaces of a house are relatively private, closed off, and rather secluded. Yet, Le Corbusier situates the living spaces around a communal, outdoor terraced that is separated from the living area by a sliding glass wall. 

This notion of privatized areas within a larger communal setting is a common thread later on in Le Corbusier’s housing projects.

Both the lower level and the upper living quarters are based off an open plan idea that provokes the inhabitant to continuously meander between spaces.  As an architectural tour de force, Le Corbusier incorporates a series of ramps moving from the lower level all the way to the rooftop garden, which requires the inhabitant to slow down and experience the movement between spaces.

Villa Savoye is a house designed based on the architectural promenade. Its experience is in the movement through the spaces.  It is not until one becomes familiar with the subtle peculiarities that the movement and proportionality of the spaces evokes a sense of monumentality within the Parisian suburb.

Special Thanks to Flavio Bragaia for the photos.

© Flickr User: End User
© Flickr User: End User
Cite: Andrew Kroll. "AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier" 27 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/84524/ad-classics-villa-savoye-le-corbusier/>
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68 Comments

archipicture · September 22, 2016

still a wonderful building!
www.archipicture.ch

plot_thickens · February 15, 2016

Looks incredibly sparce, sterile and uncomfortable.

Luisa · April 14, 2015

Does anybody knows if this house has a "subsoil"? There are some photos that confuse me. Please! I need to have some reference ¿, it's for a homework. Thank you

Ralph Martin Architect · July 15, 2014

Le Corbusier 100 years ahead of his time. Today, "new contemporary concepts" like open concept plans, light filled spaces, roof top terraces & gardens, living above service entry level,etc, etc are considered current but he developed in 1900s. Genius!

Larysa · March 30, 2014

What about Paolo Soleri?

Isabel · August 17, 2012

@ArchDaily Contempla La Villa Savoye la cual es una versión moderna de una casa de campo francesa. http://t.co/0cYegMJq http://t.co/RVdxnfsg

Scarratt and Martyn · August 15, 2012

A bit of Corb therapy for a Tuesday afternoon... http://t.co/hgRrWLH7 via @archdaily

Juan Esteban Correa · August 14, 2012

@ArchDaily Contempla La Villa Savoye la cual es una versión moderna de una casa de campo francesa. http://t.co/0cYegMJq http://t.co/RVdxnfsg

ARGOS · August 14, 2012

@ArchDaily Contempla La Villa Savoye la cual es una versión moderna de una casa de campo francesa. http://t.co/0cYegMJq http://t.co/RVdxnfsg

mrharper · August 12, 2012

@blancoarchitect @Dezeen @freshome @Architizer @designboom Villa Savoye, Le Corbusier http://t.co/UfqHH1Fd

Kutlwano Parkinson · August 11, 2012

@blanco asked What building should be on every architect&#39s bucket-list?"( http://t.co/JmUnOhaa ) my list includes falling water, Chemosphere

Patricio Aldrett · August 11, 2012
Gui de Vasconcelos · August 01, 2012

A paradigmática Villa Savoye do arquiteto Le Corbusier. A casa que influenciou boa parte da arquitetura... http://t.co/Cy230lOX

Daniel B · July 22, 2012

Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier | ArchDaily http://t.co/LBGqa18e via @archdaily

ertcoARCH · June 07, 2012

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Haimuleite · April 28, 2012

AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier | ArchDaily http://t.co/Ig4sk5Jf ?? @archdaily

ppriolo · February 06, 2012

@ArchDaily Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier (1929). http://t.co/UhrHC2Zt

five star hotel · January 14, 2012

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Anna · October 07, 2011

fifth facade!wonderfull

remic · November 04, 2010

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SAA · November 01, 2010

RT @architect300: ???????????AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier | ArchDaily http://t.co/5UONeTu via @archdaily

ilaria defilippo · November 01, 2010

AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier • http://t.co/TTmXPOm via @archdaily #architecture #LeCorbusier

Rodolfo Sastre · November 01, 2010

História como ensinamento e não como reprodução, Le Corbusier e a Ville Savoye são um destes exemplos: http://t.co/7cmPQ5l via @archdaily

Yojhanny Arce Vindas · October 29, 2010

Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier http://fb.me/JAOBMkmh

Karolis · October 29, 2010

The beggining of modern architecture...

David · October 29, 2010

1968 - student riots in Paris... and the University of Manchester 2nd year School of Architecture trip to study Le Marais... but we escaped one afternoon to Poissy, bribed a builder who was carrying out an early refurb and somewhere I have a 35mm colour slide of me in my suede shorty jacket, in a wheelbarrow, being pushed up the ramp by my friend Haitham Jabbar... how we loved that building, that day, that year.

Titoui Sabwami · October 29, 2010

AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier | ArchDaily http://t.co/b4FFYLP via @archdaily

steorfan · October 29, 2010

AD Classics: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier | ArchDaily http://dlvr.it/7h7JM

sullka · October 29, 2010

@ARCHDAILY, you might want to revise your 5 points.

It's not a simple "flat roof terrace", it's more of a "roof garden" (so trendy nowadays)

Although I'm fond on the explanation that was taught to me in school, as the "fifth facade"; to threat the roof plane as another facade, being able to enjoy it, live it, add leisure motives or sculptural forms to it, or a "garden".

Either case, it's not merely a "flat terrace roof".

Ed · October 29, 2010

Corbu had vision 80+ years ago, yet we still see retro-Victorians built today http://t.co/QDutMN2 via @archdaily

Philippe Sauvie · October 28, 2010
ra · October 28, 2010

It was completed in 1931

paul mitchell · October 28, 2010

I certainly enjoy these classics posts.

Víctor Sánchez T. · October 28, 2010

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Fabitto · October 28, 2010

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Red Wolf · October 28, 2010

Villa Savoye http://goo.gl/Olsx #architecture

Brice · October 28, 2010

Un classique: Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier | ArchDaily http://t.co/KFY9cEU

Francoise Murat · October 28, 2010

RT @fotofacade: AD Classics: Villa Savoye Le Corbusier http://pulsene.ws/cOLB #architecture #interiors >cant wait 2 visit his early wrk Xmas

Patrick Baty · October 28, 2010

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Vincent Beneche · October 28, 2010

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Andy Marshall · October 28, 2010

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thomas foral · October 28, 2010

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Pere Serra · October 28, 2010

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Gerardo Martinez · October 28, 2010

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tommi · October 28, 2010

Remembered juz spent entire afternoon there, i miss Villa Savoye a lot.

Dennis · October 28, 2010

beautiful! the one thing that looks strangely dated though is the washbasin for guests on the ground floor :)

Michel · October 28, 2010

I published a post including the floor plans, may interest some of your readers : http://betablogueur.typepad.fr...

Scott @ Cube Studio · October 28, 2010

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Milan · October 28, 2010

Timeless!

···

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