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Villa Savoye

Poissy, France
1 of 19Flickr: scarletgreen

The Villa Savoye is considered by many to be the seminal work of the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Situated at Poissy, outside of Paris, and designed in collaboraration with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret and completed in 1929, it is one of the most recognizable and programmatic architectural presentations of Le Corbusier's modernist works.

The five points

With the Villa Savoye, Le Corbusier addresses "The Five Points of a New Architecture", his basic tenets of a new architectural aesthetic which he developed in 1927: 1. the "pilotis", or ground-level supporting columns, elevate the building from the damp earth allowing the garden to flow beneath; 2. a roof terrace and garden reclaims the area of the building site for domestic purposes; 3. a 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; 4. horizontal windows provide even illumination and ventilation; 5. The freely-designed facade, unconstrained by load-bearing considerations, consists of a thin skin of wall and windows.

Location and history

The Villa Savoye was designed as a weekend country house and is situated just outside of the city 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 II but has since been restored and is open for viewing.