What a place! Le Corbusier’s retreat called Le Cabanon which sits on a wooded cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. It’s the only house that Le Corbusier actually designed for himself, a quaint little cabin which is miniature in scale and could be classed as a one-room cottage. He didn’t design a kitchen in this specific house since his friend owned a restaurant near by, his basic needs were fulfilled via the use of a combined space. This inspiration came from monks who lived in cells built for eating, sleeping and praying, Le Corbusier wanted to do much of the same thing and used his little home as a place to dream, draw and think about his architecture. In my opinion this made him more in tune with basic human needs and is possibly the reason why he dreamt up some of his best architecture here, such as the chapel at Ronchamp and the government buildings at Chandigarh in India.
There are a couple of things worth noting about this space, some possibly more important than others, one is the name of the building ‘Le Cabanon’. The word is a diminutive for the French word for ‘cabin’, but it also carries some other meanings such as mad-house, also bucolic-primitivism. They say that he wanted to create something that was based on the very origins of architecture, a primitive hut that carried only the necessities for living. I’m a big believer in zen and I definitely think it links a lot of simplistic creators out there, this place is a real inspiration because it shows that with minimal cost and low resources you can live a richly rewarding life. It also says something about Modernism in my opinion, that it can be both disciplined and humane, also it can have an abundance of character, which is something we talk about a lot here on the site.
Overall you’re sure to enjoy these images snapped by Estelle Hanania here, I have to thank the Wall Street Journal for putting these photos together, you can visit both websites through the links below. It gives us a great insight into the building and all the quirky details, I definitely thought it was one for the archive and was a post that I myself could look back on at a future date. If you’re interested we also sell a few Le Corbusier books in the store to further your knowledge. Enjoy.