THE BLOG
07/23/2013 10:43 am ET | Updated Sep 22, 2013

Less Is More

"Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep."

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Le Corbusier (1897 - 1965)

A striking white modernist structure is tucked into the Square du Docteur Blanche, a stark contrast to the traditional stone chimney-topped townhouses. Built in the early 1920's, in the residential 26th arrondissement of Paris, Maison La Roche is a glimpse into the innovative world of designer Le Corbusier. (This is a definite "don't miss" for any designer visiting Paris.)

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Charles Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier (a brilliant bit of personal branding) was a Swiss-French painter, architect, industrial designer, and writer who played a decisive role in the development of modern architecture.

Le Corbusier's architectural philosophy was elegant, simple and functional. He wanted houses to be as useful as machines. Maison La Roche is a perfect example of his principles at work:

  1. Roof garden on top of the house, the consequence of a flat roof.
  2. Columns that raise the house above the ground.
  3. A "free" plan, unencumbered by structural partitions.
  4. A similarly "free" facade, free of decoration.
  5. Strip (continuous, horizontal) windows, which provide maximum illumination to the house.

Much of the furniture is gone (no sign of the famous LC 4 Chaise Longue), but there's a dining room table surrounded by four Thonet chairs.

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Le Corbusier's modernist-style still life paintings still hang on the walls.

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You can even see his paint swatch tests on the walls in several of the rooms...it's like a glimpse into his thought process.

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Le Corbusier deftly stripped down the architecture of his time, not only reinventing the way homes looked, but the way they were lived in.

Truly an inspiration.

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www.fondationlecorbusier.fr

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FOR MORE INSPIRING DESIGN, STORIES FROM ABROAD, AND A SOURCEBOOK FOR PLACES TO EAT, STAY, SHOP, AND SEE, GO TO MY BLOG: JUST ONE SUITCASE.COM

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