Fire Update and Interior Tour of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’ Habitation in Marseille

© Guillermo Hevia García

In an article originally published on Plataforma Arquitectura, Guillermo Hevia Garcia describes his experience when visiting the Unité d’ Habitation in Marseille, , also known as Cité Radieuse. On February 9th, the building was overcome by a large fire that was said to have been started due to a heating problem. The blaze took  hundreds of firefighters nearly a day and a half to put it out. Eight residential units and four hotel rooms were destroyed, and approximately 35 other units were severely damaged by smoke or action relief. Most residents have returned home to the Unité d’ Habitation, Le Corbusier‘s thesis on domestic life, as they continue to live the communal life that the renowned architect dreamt up.

Read on for more after the break.

AD Classics: Unite d’ Habitation / Le Corbusier

© Wojtek Gurak

After World War II, the need for housing was at an unprecedented high.  The Unite d’ Habitation in Marseille, was the first large scale project for the famed architect, .  In 1947, Europe was still feeling the effects of the Second World War, when Le Corbusier was commissioned to design a multi-family residential housing project for the people of Marseille that were dislocated after the bombings on France.  Completed in 1952, the Unite d’ Habitation was the first of a new housing project series for Le Corbusier that focused on communal living for all the inhabitants to shop, play, live, and come together in a “vertical garden city.”