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Published on Jul 23, 2009
www.channelbeta.net //////// Cité Radieuse
The first and most famous of these buildings, also known as Cité Radieuse (radiant city) and, informally, as La Maison du Fada (French - Provençal, "The House of the Mad"), is located in Marseille, France, built 1947-1952. One of Le Corbusiers's most famous works, it proved enormously influential and is often cited as the initial inspiration of the Brutalist architectural style and philosophy.
The Marseille building, developed with Corbusier's designers Shadrach Woods and George Candilis, comprises 337 apartments arranged over twelve stories, all suspended on large piloti. The building also incorporates shops, sporting, medical and educational facilities, and a hotel. The flat roof is designed as a communal terrace with sculptural ventilation stacks, a running track, and a shallow paddling pool.
Inside, corridors run through the centre of the long axis of every third floor of the building, with each apartment lying on two levels, and stretching from one side of the building to the other, with a balcony. Unlike many of the inferior system-built blocks it inspired, which lack the original's generous proportions, communal facilities and parkland setting, the Unité is popular with its residents and is now mainly occupied by middle-class professionals.
The building is constructed in béton brut (rough-cast concrete), as the hoped-for steel frame proved too expensive in light of post-War shortages.