Thirty three kilometers north west of Paris, in Poissy, is the Villa Savoye. Designed by Le Corbusier and built between 1929 and 1931, it’s a icon of 20th century modernist architecture. Originally built as a country retreat for the Savoye family, the city of Poissy has since surrounded it and even taken over some of the original 7 hectare gardens, leaving it hidden in a hectare of greenery close to the city centre.
Designed around Le Corbusier’s ‘Five Points’, the horizontal windows and open floor plan, the hanging garden and clean lines, make the building look incredibly contemporary. It’s hard to believe it’s over 80 years old.
The Savoye family lived in the Villa from 1931 until 1940. Occupied but the Germans and then the Allies, it was damaged during WWII, and was listed a historic monument in 1964 whilst Le Corbusier was still alive, a rare occurrence. Restored in the 1990’s, it is now run by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, and can be visited daily and even hired out for private events. It also hosts contemporary art events, and houses a few pieces of Le Corbusier’s iconic furniture designs.
I love the stark beauty of the Villa Savoye. It’s easy to get to if you have a car, but can also be reached by train and bus. Open daily except Mondays and national holidays, the opportunity to visit such a key and influential piece of architecture is not to be missed.
Take the RER A to Poissy and then bus No 50 direction La Coudraie. Bus stop ‘Villa Savoye’.
- Villa Savoye, 82 rue de Villiers, 78300 Poissy.