Villa Savoye, Poissy, France
Architect: Le Corbusier/Pierre Jeanneret
A sleek white box of reinforced concrete that, thanks to more than a dozen slender columns, seems to levitate above an area for parking, Villa Savoye is an ingenious highlight of the modernist movement in architecture.
Now a museum, it was completed in 1930 to the designs of Le Corbusier (1887–1965) and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret (1896–1967), who had been hired by Paris-based insurance executive Pierre Savoye and his wife, Émilie. What they produced was a radical weekend getaway the sophisticated Savoyes dubbed Les Heures Claires, or the Bright Hours, and Le Corbusier called a “box in the air.”
The main living spaces are located on the second floor, surrounding a paved courtyard. Horizontal windows animate the minimalist façade like a glittering ribbon, and the flat roof — accessed by the last leg of a gentle ramp that begins at the base of the building — is equipped with a solarium bordered with an undulating windscreen and planting beds.