Date and Time of Visit: September 26, 2017, approximately 2:00 p.m.
One of the major themes of our September 2017 trip was Le Corbusier. To be honest, I was completely ignorant about architecture, and only became aware of Le Corbusier because his works were recognized as a World Heritage Site the year before this trip.
On this trip, I went to see the following two Le Corbusier’s works in Switzerland.
ル・コルビュジェ建築巡り スイス編その１「メゾン・ブランシュ(Maison Blanche)」、2017年9月スイス・フランス旅行記 No.8
ル・コルビュジェ建築巡り スイス編その２「ヴィッラ・ル・ラック(Villa Le Lac)」、2017年9月スイス・フランス旅行記 No.9
I also went to his birthplace, La Chaux-de-Fonds. I went to La Chaux-de-Fonds simply because it is a World Heritage Site, but I didn’t even know that Le Corbusier was born in this city until I went there.
In this trip, I visited two Le Corbusier buildings in France. The Savoie House in Poissy, a suburb of Paris, is one of Le Corbusier’s masterpieces and his most famous work. Completed in 1928 and completed in 1932, the Savoie House is said to be the realization of all of Le Corbusier’s Five Principles of Modern Architecture (Les cinq points de l’architecture nouvelle).
In 1958, the city of Poissy purchased the building from the Savoie family for the construction of a high school, which was later transferred to the state in 1962. The following year, from 1963 to 1997, the building was renovated.
Savoie House, perhaps because it is owned by the state, has many opening days and times. As a rule, you can visit the museum on any day except Monday.
There is no parking lot belonging to the facility, but since it is in the suburbs, there is a free parking space a little further away, and I parked my car there. As it is in the suburbs of Paris, I think you can get there by some kind of public transportation. As usual, I don’t have any information about public transportation.
First of all, you can open the entrance by yourself, I think. At Maison Blanche in Switzerland and the Roche mansion in Paris, which I’ll introduce later, you had to ring a bell at the entrance.
You can go inside, pay the admission fee, get a pamphlet and visit the museum freely. There are a few curators, so they can explain in French or local language. The pamphlet is here. I tried my best to get a French one, but I think there was an English one too.
It gives a detailed description of the ground floor, first floor and second floor. The following is a brief introduction with photos of the most impressive parts. First of all, the hall of the grand floor was very beautiful.
The weather was cloudy at the time of my visit, so I had the impression that it was a little dark, but even so, the structure with so many windows is bright enough compared to the architecture before Corbusier. Perhaps because such a style is common sense nowadays, it is difficult for us to notice it. But in fact, it is one of his greatness.
The upper floor can be reached by either a ramp or a spiral staircase. Beautiful curved design.
Now, the first floor (the second floor in Japan) is a novel and stylish space even now.
However, there’s a bathroom in the middle of the room that’s full of style, and of course it was made for people to live in, so I’m sure it’s functional, but to be honest, it’s not very relaxing.
There is also an outdoor garden on the ground floor and another garden above it. It looks more like a rooftop terrace from a modern spacing than a garden.
From today’s point of view, it looks like a designer’s apartment, but considering that it was built about 80 years ago, I strongly felt that it was a very innovative design. Even if this kind of architecture was made now, it would be considered novel enough. It’s not easy to realize the beauty of this building just by looking at the photos of the exterior and interior, but when you imagine the various buildings that were influenced by this building, you can slowly immerse yourself in the beauty of the Savoie House.
It’s a small place, so I think the viewing time was about 30 minutes. We had a little more time that day, so we headed to another Le Corbusier’s work in Paris. I’ll introduce it next time.