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Cite Fruges

Pessac, France
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Cite Fruges, Pessac

Cite Fruges is modern housing development located in Pessac, France. It was designed by Le Corbusier as an architect and a town planner. The buildings were built as experimental housing for workers. Housing contained 70 housing units. Le Corbusier took into account prevailing social and economic factors, and was determined to build the plan to provide people with low-cost, predetermined, homogeneous cubist structures.

The project originated in 1920 with 10 houses built at Lege, near Pessac, for the father of Henry Fruges. Following this initial phase, the project was extended to 200 houses. Only a quarter of this number were built by 1926. Corbusier painted panels of brown, blue, yellow and jade green in response to the clients request for decoration.

Quartiers Modernes Fruges

M. Fruges, an altruistic Bordeaux Industrialist told Le Corbusier he will enable to realize his theories in practice; "Pessac should be a laboratory. In short: I ask you to pose the problem of a house plan, of finding a method of standardization, to make use the walls, floors and roofs confirming to the most rigorous requirements for strenght and efficiency and lending themselves to true taylor-like methods of mass-production by use of machines which I shall autorize you to buy."

The village of Pessac was built in less than a year by a parisian contractor who replaced the local firms which refused to undertake the work. Pessac was conceived to built in reinforced concrete with the aim of low cost. The method of standardization, industrialization and mass-production created a specific structure: only one type of reinforced concrete beam, 16 ft. 3 in. long, which was used for the whole development.