Essential Architecture-  Paris

Villa Savoye


Le Corbusier


outside Paris




Early Modern




The Villa Savoye is considered by many to be the seminal work of the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Situated at Poissy, outside of Paris, it is one of the most recognisable architectural presentations of the International Style. Construction was substantially completed ca. 1929.

The house was emblematic of Le Corbusier's work in that it addressed "The Five Points", his basic tenents of a new aesthetic of architecture constructed in reinforced concrete:

The pilotis, or ground-level supporting columns, elevate the building from the damp earth and allow the garden to flow beneath. 
A flat roof terrace reclaims the area of the building site for domestic purposes, including a garden area. 
The free plan, made possible by the elimination of load-bearing walls, consists of partitions placed where they are needed without regard for those on adjoining levels. 
Horizontal windows provide even illumination and ventilation. 
The freely-designed facade, unconstrained by load-bearing considerations, consists of a thin skin of wall and windows. 
The Villa Savoye was designed as a weekend country house and is situated just outside of the small village of Poissy in a meadow which was originally surrounded by trees. The polychromatic interior contrasts with the primarily white exterior. Vertical circulation is facilitated by ramps as well as stairs. The house fell into ruin during World War Two but has since been restored and is open for viewing.