LE CORBUSIER, UNITÉ D’HABITATION, MARSEILLE

UNITE-HABITATION

‘LA MACHINE À VIVRE’

The machine for living is the famous statement of Le Corbusier when he conceived the Unité d’Habitation. The first ‘machine’ has been constructed in Marseilles, in 1951.

Le Corbusier solved the housing problem by grouping cells in height. The building is not oriented to the environment; it’s orientated according to the sunlight: East-West. He thought about the human scale, and the spaces are destined to the people that are going to live there. It’s a building very close to its inhabitants.

The ‘Unité’ integrates some services for people that is living there and also for people foreign to the building. It integrates some spaces for relationships and common uses between neighbours. There is also a commercial corridor with some shops, a hotel, a restaurant, a supermarket, a nursery, gym… Most of these common services are situated in the central corridors or in the roof. The cover has got a running track where people living there can go running. It’s over 800m long, so I think you won’t be bored!

The building is set from nine institutions that lead to sixteen different cells. Thanks to the combinatory of these cells, the building is organized in height.  That methodology allows an only corridor in three plants. The basic cell is composed by two floors. You can go in by this central corridor and then you can go down or go up, depending on the orientation of the cell. You have got an entrance, the kitchen and the living-room and then the private rooms in the other floor (very shortly described). Each floor has got its corresponding outer space.  On the basis of the cell case, corresponds to a percentage of 13.62%.

I leave you some photos when I visited it.

Cristina.