The best place to experience Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier’s modernist design is in the home and studio he designed for himself.
Built between 1931 and 1934, the Studio-Apartment at the top of the Molitor Building in Paris is a compact, carefully considered evocation of his “Five Points of New Architecture” — support columns, gardens on roofs, open floors, façades that are floating, and windows that are horizontal for optimal light. After buzzing for the apartment, you first have to climb six stories of stairs (the elevator is for residents in the building only), but on entering, the serious climb rewards with a vaulted studio space full of light. The wall on one side of the painting studio is actually the older wall of the adjacent apartment building.
Throughout the apartment, open for the curious to explore all the fine details, are blocks of primary color accenting large door frames opening to living, working, and entertaining spaces. Le Corbusier lived here until his death in 1965, and it’s preserved the way he left it by the Fondation Le Corbusier. Combined with the nearby Villa La Roche, also designed by Le Corbusier, it’s an immersive experience in rethinking the design of living.