When the gym and solarium on the 20-century’s most famous rooftop terrace - elevated 18-stories above Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse - went up for sale in 2010, French designer Ito Morabito of Ora-ïto immediately jumped on the opportunity and purchased the space. With the support of the Foundation Le Corbusier, Ora-ïto initiated a campaign to restore the 1950‘s structure to its original state, by removing an addition that blocked the spaces 360-degree views of the city, and transform it into a contemporary art center, named the MAMO for “Marseille Modulor” - as a nod to New York’s MOMA.
More about MAMO after the break...
After three years and a €7m restoration, jointly funded by Ora-Ïto, the building's co-owners and the French state, the entire rooftop has been immaculately restored and, as reported by The Guardian’s Oli Wainwright, work is underway to transform the former gym into an arts space, cafe and artists' residences. Ora-ïto’s idea is to invite different artists each summer to do a main exhibition that will spark a dialogue with the architecture in a way that celebrates its “particular beauty and utopian ambition”.
The inaugural exhibition will premiere this June as part of Marseille's 2013 Capital of Culture, featuring French sculptor Xavier Veilhan, whose ‘Architectones’ installations are developed specifically for architectural sites.