In the 16th arrondissement, on the west side of Paris, is the Immeuble Molitor, an apartment building designed and built by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret between 1931 and 1934. The top two floors were Le Corbusier’s own apartment and studio in which he painted daily throughout his life. The apartment building is oriented east-west and overlooks on one side the Stade Jean Bouin (home of Parisian rugby team Stade Francais) and on the other side Roland Garros (home of the French Open tennis Championships – I could hear the clapping from the women’s final as I was on the roof terrace!)
The apartment is open plan, spaces are closed with huge doors or mobile elements. Light streams in through the windows, refractive glass Nevada bricks and roof lights – Le Corbusier wished to replicate the light he experienced in his visits to the Mediterranean. Finding the light to be even too strong in the studio, he tempered it by adding wooden blinds on the eastern facade.
Le Corbusier furnished his home according to the esthetic codes of the Modernist Movement. The kitchen units were designed by Charlotte Perriand, and some of the iconic pieces of furniture designed by Le Corbusier can also be found in the living area.
The bed is interestingly placed high up so he could see the views across Boulogne, even when he was lying down.
On the 8th floor there is a guest suite and a roof terrace with spectacular views across out to the west of the city.
For fans of Le Corbusier, or all fans of architecture in general, this is a fascinating visit. It’s only open on Saturdays. You can buy a combo ticket for reduced entry to the nearby Villa La Roche (my next visit!) If you have a bit more time and can take a day trip out of the city, don’t miss the Villa Savoye, one of Le Corbusier’s iconic masterpieces.
- Immeuble Molitor, 24 rue Nungesser et Coli, 75016 Paris. metro: Michel Ange Molitor or Porte d’Auteuil
Open Saturdays 10:00 – 13:00 and 13:30 – 17:00