Villa Savoye

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Villa Savoye, 2015

The Villa Savoye , sometimes also called Villa les Heures Claires , was designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret and built between 1928 and 1931 in Poissy, northwest of Paris .


View from the "Solarium" onto the terrace garden, 2015

The villa stands high on a spacious plot of land in the middle of a large meadow surrounded by deciduous trees. A circumferential row of slender columns supports the upper floor, the facade of which is divided by a continuous horizontal ribbon of windows. The ground floor is pulled back far behind the pillars; the resulting roofed open space serves as a driveway and access to the garages integrated on the ground floor . In addition to the garages, the entrance area with the vestibule and the servants' rooms are located on the ground floor.

A gently sloping ramp (promenade architecturale) leads from the entrance to the first floor to the living rooms. These open up to a terrace garden via sliding glass walls. From the terrace you can reach the roof with the solarium , a sun terrace whose curved screen protects against the wind and enriches the form language of the villa with its curve.

The Villa Savoye is the consistent implementation of Le Corbusier's formal language from his manifesto Five Points for a new architecture from 1923: the house on pillars ( pilotis ), the roof garden , the free floor plan, the long window (ribbon window) and the free facade.

In addition to the Villa Tugendhat ( Ludwig Mies van der Rohe , 1930), Fallingwater ( Frank Lloyd Wright , 1937) and the Haus Schminke ( Hans Scharoun , 1933), the Villa Savoye is one of the most important modern houses .

Curved interior staircase

History of the building

Bathroom with tiled lounger

Right from the start, Le Corbusier's building received a great deal of attention and recognition as an impressive document of modernism. However, the client found that the flat roof had numerous leaks within a short time. The house was practically unusable because of the structural damage . Le Corbusier appeased and promised a repair. However, in the absence of any action, it finally got to the point that the Savoye family threatened to file a lawsuit against him. Because of the outbreak of the Second World War and the escape of Pierre and Eugénie Savoye, there was no trial.

From 1940 to 1945 the house was first used by the German occupying forces, then by the Americans, and was further damaged. Most recently, the uninhabited villa was only used as an agricultural storage facility. In 1958 the city of Poissy expropriated the Savoye family in order to build a school on the site. The villa was slated for demolition. Thereupon massive protests arose, which led to the intervention of the French Minister of Culture André Malraux . In 1962 the state took over the building and in 1963 carried out the first renovation measures. In 1965 the Villa Monument was historique , the actual renovation lasted from 1985 to 1997. The Villa Savoye is open to the public all year round.

After initial attempts in 2009 and 2011, in 2016, under the leadership of France, a list of 17 works by Corbusier in seven countries - including the Villa Savoye - was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List . The villa was honored for its consistent implementation of the architecture manifesto “Five Points for a New Architecture” and as an iconic building of modernity that has received strong international attention.


The toy manufacturer Lego has released the Villa Savoye, along with other architecture icons, as a kit as part of its Architecture series.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret) with Pierre Jeanneret: Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, France 1932. Architectural model in the MoMA collection .
  2. cf. Alain de Botton : The Architecture of Happiness. Hamish Hamilton, London 2006 (excerpt from the eBook on Google Books )
  3. Stompin 'on the Savoye , TIME Magazine, March 23, 1959 ( Memento of May 30, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Entry on the World Heritage List: The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement. UNESCO website, accessed on November 13, 2016.
  5. ^ The World Heritage Committee : Decision: 40 COM 8B.31. UNESCO website, accessed on November 13, 2016.
  6. Lego Shop Archive "Villa Savoye"
  7. Instructions - Customer Service - DE. Retrieved August 27, 2020 .
  8. LEGO Architecture Villa Savoye (Set 21014). Retrieved August 27, 2020 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 55 ′ 28 "  N , 2 ° 1 ′ 41.7"  E