Designed 1925-1925 as a residence for Swiss banker Raoul La Roche, Villa Roche is the quintessence of Le Corbusier’s modern approach to housing.The Villa acted as an exhibition space for Mr. Roche’s collection of avant-garde artwork, and is a pure assemblage of spatial volumes that interlocks the dual programs of domicile and gallery. The promenade through Villa Roche plays a significant role in linking these two programs into one.It was imagined as a “spatial experience” and consists of a specifically deliberate path which guides the inhabitant and unveils the artwork as an itinerary through history. Beginning with Cubist art and finishing with Purism, the promenade leads through the piano noble up into a succession of wonderfully illuminated spaces which were perceptibly designed to be experiential and viewed from a single, fixed point. Precisely placed wall openings, stairs, ramps, and balconies divide the space into three dimensional grid-like layers which are permeable to stunning illumination, yet subtle and unobtrusive to the Villa’s equilibrium.
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