04 July 2009

Poissy

Arrived in Paris last night and decided to take my sister for an architecture tour of the city.

She is not an architect (and usually it's not easy to keep a non-architect interested in buildings especially if they are in the modern style), so I decided to start at the holy Grail of modern architecture.

We headed out to the northern fringes of this metropolis to a small commune called - Poissy.
I thought to myself if she likes this first building that I was going to show her, then there is some hope for the rest for the day.
An hour after leaving from our hotel there we were - standing in front of one of the most iconic houses built in the last century.

Designed by non other than the legendary architect Le Corbusier (the father of modern architecture).
The 'Villa Savoye' is considered by most critics one of his finest built works and also one that truly captured his "5 points" of architecture.
ut as I showed this building to my sis and tried to justify it I realized that beyond all the rhetoric and theory behind it, the greatest strength of this house was it's extreme simplicity and ability to arouse in anyone a yearning to live in a house like this!

Here's lots of photos of the interior of this great house:
It wasn't just my sis who was seeing this for the first time, it was also my first visit to this magnificent building and I loved it. All these years I had seen it in drawings and photos but never quiet got it.
I am now finally able to appreciate why this building holds such a key place in architecture's collective memory. It's much talked about relationship with it's landscape is as impressive as I could have imagined!
However, the one element of the overall composition of Villa Savoye - that I really enjoyed especially because I was unaware of it's existence - was the tiny house that Corbusier had designed and executed as the care takers quarters.
It is located right at the entrance of the Villa and is the only built example of the minimum family unit that Corbusier had designed for the United Nations.
Now that I had overcome the first hurdle of establishing my sister did have some appreciation for architecture I decided to push my luck my showing her a lot more of it but now in the city (Paris).

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