General Info Architect: Le Corbusier Location: Marseilles, France Building Type: Multifamily housing Construction System: Concrete Style: Modern Date: 1945-52 18 stories 337 apartments For 1,600 people Still in service
Why was it built? It was built to alleviate a severe postwar housing shortage. Inspired by socialist ideals. Le Corbusier chose the ocean liner, which housed, fed, and entertained thousands of passengers in a very restricted space to help him create Unite dHabitation. His goal was a total environment, enhanced with all the amenities of civilization, so one would never need to leave.
Exterior The Unite block is set in a landscaped park and raised on pilotis. The apartments are designed to have frontage on both east and west side. Balconies have deep overhangs for sun protection and surfaces are painted different colors to enliven the bleak mass of concrete. The concrete is rough, marked with knots and grain of its wood forms. The strong pilotis create circulation space beneath. The roof, offers space for recreation and relaxation in its gymnasium, 300m track, outdoor stage, and childrens play area. Single and double story balconies.
Interior 15 floors are residential. Floor 7 and 8 are communal levels where you find commercial services to provide daily needs such as shopping, laundry, catering, medical offices, and hotel rooms for guests. The units are offset in this pattern, forming a series of vertical interlocking L shapes. The apartments are very narrow, particularly when they are divided into hall like bedrooms. Corridors are where you find less quality, they are dark, and the only light sources are the lights above every front door. The corridors run through the center of the building every third floor.
A machine for living in. -Le Corbusier The End Jose Valdez Arch 71 Architecture History 2 (Renaissance-21st century) College of the Sequoias Division of Industry and Technology Instructor: Rolando L. Gonzalez M. Arch. Architect, A.I.A. Spring 2005