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DESIGN PLUS: MOVING IN WITH LE CORBUSIER

Mark Tungate 2022-05-19

Artists and designers inhabit the Marseille masterpiece created by Le Corbusier (real name: Charles-Édouard Jeanneret) to celebrate the building’s 70th anniversary.

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Whatever you think of Le Corbusier – this was, after all, the man who wanted to replace central Paris with tower blocks – the Swiss-French architect and designer had an outsized influence that still resonates today. His forward-thinking housing project in Marseille, known as “La Cité Radieuse” (built between 1947 and 1952) is a must see for visitors.

Perhaps even more so at the moment, thanks to an art and design exhibition designed to coincide with the building’s 70th birthday. Called “Héritages”, the show is a collaboration between the Galerie Philia – which has design and art outposts in New York, Geneva and Singapore – and the art magazine Eclipse. 

Installed in an apartment that gives you a perfect sense of Le Corbusier’s approach to light and proportions, the exhibition flows through two neighboring rooms, named after his concepts of “resonances” and “dissonances”. The gallery says it commissioned eight designers to create new works that “explore, rethink and reinterpret” Le Corbusier’s ideas. Meanwhile, the magazine curated works that recall his affiliation with and impact on the art world.

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So what can you expect to see? In the first room, gaze upon a Le Corbusier-inspired vase by the designer Rick Owens, an armchair by Pietro Franceschini  and a minimalist steel daybed by Arno Declerc (see above). There’s also an original engraving, “Le Chevalier” (1948) by none other than Picasso.

The “dissonances” room reflects on Le Corbusier’s approach to standardization and regularity. A ceramic table by Jojo Corväiá is a web of irregularities and cracks, while there’s also an imperfectly alluring pedestal table in salt by Roxane Lahidji.

All these things and more are there to admire – and none of them deflect from the achievement of the building itself. Or, indeed, from the vibrant port city of Marseille itself.

“Héritages” can be seen at the La Cité Radieuse until July 2 2022

Images: Maison Mouton Noir, courtesy of Galerie Philia

With the authorisation of Fondation Le Corbusier, © FLC / A.D.A.G.P, Paris, 2022

Fondation Le Corbusier, © FLC / A.D.A.G.P, Paris, 2022


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