Maison La Roche — Le Corbusier in Paris
A short walk away from Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil we found Maison La Roche (also referred to as 'Villa La Roche') which was designed in the 1920s as a residential project for Raoul La Roche, a wealthy Swiss banker who fell in love with Le Corbusier's purist approach and commissioned him to design a home for him in Paris, with a dedicated space for his vast collection of avant-garde art pieces.
Le Corbusier collaborated with Pierre Jeanneret (his cousin and also an architect) to create a space that would incorporate aspects of a traditional art gallery, intertwined with domestic functionality. Today the building is home to the Le Corbusier Foundation and we were free to walk around (in our bright blue shoe covers of course).
Internally, the space is divided into odd sections of blocks and lines which makes for a very graphic appearance which is enhanced further by the use of colour on the walls. A palette of brighter-than-we-expected Burnt Umber, Deep Ultramarine and, rather appropriately, Paris Green. The entrance hall is a vast expanse of Raw Sienna Pale which is a really lovely canvas for the light to fall on - particularly with the sharp angles of the stairwell and walkway.
Everything seems to have an element of playfulness about it; slopes instead of steps and a range of different surfaces, including small sections of mirror to continue lines around the walls. We also loved the hanging systems that were integrated into the body of the building and the various different types of reinforced glass we found in all the windows. We're not entirely sure if the fun-factor was intended but that's how we interpreted the space and we're sticking to it.
PUB QUIZ FACT: 'Le Corbusier' is a sort of stage name that he chose... He was given the name Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris when he was born in 1887.
Visit the Le Corbusier Foundation website for opening hours and prices.