Masterpieces in Modern Architecture – Ville Savoie

Masterpieces in Modern Architecture – Ville Savoie

At the beginning of the 20th century, art world underwent a revolution like never before in history. And just as Picasso did with painting, Le Corbusier (among others) did the same with architecture.

Born in a small town in Switzerland, it was in Paris that he became interested in the new architectural trend. Very soon Le Corbusier broke with traditional architecture, and this is noticed in his works, and Ville Savoie is not an exception. When you approach the villa, nothing makes you expect what you will experience. The architecture in its quarter is nineteenth century, traditional, and suddenly, when you enter the villa’s plot, you come across something totally new and different.

Le Corbusier ville Paris

One of the bases of this new architecture was a new material, reinforced concrete, invented in the mid-nineteenth century. This was assumed by Le Corbusier from the beginning of his career as a paradigm of this new architecture, and ended up using it practically in all of his works.

It was the use of this new material that allowed him to make unthinkable designs until then. Heavy walls, made of stone and brick, were replaced by large openings, which provided a freedom of design on the façade as never before.

Patio roof garden le corbusier

View to the patio on the roof

Garden roof ville savoie

In fact, this was one of his five premises to be fulfilled in every building which, in Ville Savoie, they are perfectly represented. First one, the ground floor is made on pillars. As it was possible to get rid of heavy walls, an open ground floor, only with concrete pillars, served as an element of connection between the exterior and the interior. The car, another element of modernity, reached this point, and the apartment was developed from the first floor.

Due to the new constructive system, windows went from being an opening in a wall to adopt the form you could desired. And among these forms, Le Corbusier estimated horizontal windows work best for getting sunlight into the house and increase the relationship between exterior and interior.

The free façade design, like the free floor design, are other two of his premises. They mean freedom of design, as until then structural elements did not allow it. Now everything was lightened so they could have full freedom in designing.

Fireplace ville savoie Corbusier

Fireplace at the sitting room

Finally, the garden on the roof. Even if his works are not organic nor stay unnoticed in a natural environment, Le Corbusier was an ecologically conscious person. He believed that the space occupied by housing, now converted into urbanized, had to be restored with a garden on its roof. Thus, he returned to nature what the settlement of the building had taken away, and this in turn provided insulation to the last floor.

His architecture, therefore, does not respond to a concept of organic growth, like nature itself. Architecture, as a human creation, must be distinguished by itself. And of all human creations, the design of a machine for Le Corbusier was the top, the absolute perfection. And this was so by combining design and functionality.

bathroom ville savoie


Promenade roof garden Ville Savoie

Therefore, a house should be nice, pleasant, but also functional. The Ville Savoie reflects this, and also provides an experience in situ that can hardly be seen in plans or photographs: the feeling of going through an itinerary, the connection between rooms, with different visuals previously studied, which give an overview of fluidity and freedom of movements.

Aesthetically, beauty laid in pure volumes, without artifice nor decorations with no function. And his compositions using these geometric forms were admirable, since any partial view of any of his works (floors, side or front views) remains itself as a work of art.

Due to its contribution to modern architecture, in 2016, much of his architectural work has been protected as Unesco World Heritage Site, and among these, of course, the Ville Savoie, one of the most important buildings in the Architecture of the twentieth century.

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