When referring to modern architecture, the “Le Lac” Villa by Le Corbusier (1923) stands out as one of the first milestones. This lakeside house was not just a building, but a bold statement of revolutionary ideas that shook the world of architecture in 1923 and continue to inspire architects today.
“Le Lac” Villa represents a pioneering example of functionalist research, introducing avant-garde concepts for its time. With its modest 64 square meters, this villa aimed to establish a typological standard: the single-span house. This standard, later embraced worldwide, made “Le Lac” Villa an icon of minimalist architecture, focusing on maximum efficiency and space utilization.
One of the most significant contributions of “Le Lac” Villa is its anticipation of three of Le Corbusier’s famed “five points for a new architecture”: the free plan, the roof garden, and the ribbon window. These elements revolutionized the concept of living spaces, paving the way for a new era of architectural design.
The interior of “Le Lac” Villa exemplifies how form follows function. Developed lengthwise (16 x 4 meters), it theoretically offers all the necessary spaces for a couple. What characterizes the interiors, which would otherwise have been rather dreary and “compact”, is the large south-facing ribbon window that brings natural light into the main rooms, offering the inhabitants a spectacular view of the lake, the Rhône Valley, and the majestic Alps.
The exterior spaces are equally intriguing. High walls surrounding the garden create an intimate atmosphere, although probably no one today would feel the need for them. And perhaps not even at that time. Fortunately, an opening in the wall frames the surrounding landscape like a natural painting, inviting moments of contemplation.
“Le Lac” Villa has undergone some changes over the years, but these have preserved its original spirit. Today, this residence certainly represents a piece of architectural history, a first step towards modernity and Corbu’s famous “machine for living.”
PROJECT. Le Corbusier
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