Villa Savoye

Villa Savoye, Poissy, France, Le Corbusier
Project year: 1929
Address: 82 Rue de Villiers, POISSY, France
Latitude/Longitude: 48.924420,2.028261

Many consider Villa Savoye to be the seminal work of the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. International Style has found to this Villa one of its most recognisable architectural presentations.

The Five Points
The house was emblematic of Le Corbusier used to work in a system that he addressed “The Five Points”, his basic tenets of a new aesthetic of architecture constructed in reinforced concrete. This house included all five of them:

1. The building is elevated from the damp earth with the pilotis, ground-level supporting columns, allowing the garden to flow beneath.
2. The area of the building site is reclaimed with a flat roof terrace for domestic purposes, including a garden area.
3. Partitions placed where they are needed without regard for those on adjoining levels are making the free plan that is possible by the elimination of load-bearing walls.
4. Even illumination and ventilation is provided through horizontal windows.
5. Thin skin of wall and windows are the elements of the freely-designed facade, unconstrained by load-bearing considerations.

A weekend country house was the concept behind Villa Savoye that is located just outside of the city of Poissy in a meadow which was originally surrounded by trees. The primarily white exterior is in contrast with the polychromatic interior. Ramps as well as stairs facilitate vertical circulation. During World War II the house was destroyed but has since been restored and is open for viewing.

The flat roof that Le Corbusier used in the design of this building was a move he said was for functionality, though may have been partly due to way it looked for him. Indeed the roof leaked, causing the owners to attempt to take Corbusier to court, failing its functionality. However, Corbusier left the area when, at the same time, World War II broke out, leaving the building in a state of disrepair.