Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse into MAMO by Ora Ito


Sometimes when I come across news and updates from the design world I’m disheartened by the way they’re put together, in no way do we get the full story, often we’re left wondering what the article was actually about. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen a few places showcase this particular work that I’m discussing today, but I felt like it didn’t get that much of a spotlight, whether that be that the photos weren’t that good or it didn’t say much in the text. It could also be true that I’m heavily inspired by Le Corbusier, so I’m probably just spiteful that it didn’t get the attention it deserves. I’m here to make a stand!

These pictures are of Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse, an extensive apartment complex built in Marseille, France, which boasts 337 apartments, a restaurant, a hotel, a bookstore and a nursery school. In 2010 when one of the most photographed areas of the building went up for sale, the rooftop gym and solarium, French designer Ito Morabito purchased it through his love of architecture and admiration for Le Corbusier himself. Rather than keep it all to himself he decided to give back to the city and transformed the rooftop of Cité Radieuse in to MAMO, short for MArseille MOdulor, to hold exhibitions and other peoples artworks.

Like with a lot of famous builds, other influencers decide to add unusual elements that were never intended by the architect. So Ito went through a three-year overhaul, restoring it back to the original blueprints, even adding on elements that hadn’t been realised when the original building was constructed, this is what I really love! First up to showcase at this fantastic location is French artist Xavier Veilhan with an exhibition titled “Architectones”, a collection of large-scale sculptures created for the outdoor space. The whole thing will work as a seasonal project and will showcase outdoor exhibitions by established creatives in the summer, and small shows for lesser-known individuals in an indoor space. Overall a great boost in terms of getting people inspired and educating people on the different facets of design.

As you can see in the photos above and below, wonderfully snapped by Diane Arques and sourced from the MAMO website itself, this is quite the setting and you can imagine some fantastic works being shown here. What’s also nice is the fact that Ito Morabito is staying true to Le Corbusier’s wishes and has revived such a fascinating landmark in both architecture and the city itself. Hopefully if you’re around you’ll pop in to this exhibition which runs until the 30th of September, 2013.