MVRDV & Le Corbusier and the ultimate inspiration building, Le Corbusier’s “Unite D’habitation” in Marseille

Inspiration sketch Gallery (ISG) by Eli Inbar

In this post and the following posts, I want to share with you a fascinating discovery about Le Corbusier’s “Unite D’habitation” in Marseille.

Unite D’habitation in Marseille was the first order Le Corbusier received from the French state starts to be scheduled immediately after the Second World War (1945-46),

Le Corbusier’s Unite D’habitation in Marseille comprises 337 apartments arranged over twelve stories, all suspended on large piloti. The building also incorporates shops with architectural bookshop,sporting, medical and educational facilities, a hotel which is open to the public, and a gastronomic restaurant. Its flat roof is designed as a communal terrace with sculptural ventilation stacks, a running track, a shallow paddling pool for children, and an open-air theatre

The building is constructed in béton brut (rough-cast concrete) and was finished in 1952. 


MVRDV is a Rotterdam, Netherlands-based architecture and urban design practice founded in 1991. The name is an acronym for the founding members

Their first realized commission was the new offices for VPRO in Hilversum, Netherlands (1993–1997). 

MVRDV is well-known for its philosophy of densification and multiple space use. 

The office researches and debates global ecological issues such as the consequences of urban sprawl, the bio-industry and climate change. 


An MVRDV’s urban design project that draws my attention, is the research master plan into the future of greater Paris.

Le Corbusier’s  Unite D’habitation is characterized by a cellular morphology.Le Corbusier developed a system of interior “streets” every three floors that provided the horizontal access to interlocking cross-over units.

A typical Unite D’habitation section showing the “streets” (1) ,and the interlocking cross-over units designed by Le Corbusier at 1945-1946

 40 years later an elevation section of a “double house” in Utrecht designed by MVRDV at 1995

MVRDV’s drawing sequence, showing the development of the design concept of the “double house” in Utrecht

Eliinbar sketches 2011  Unite D’habitation in Marseille ,the ultimate inspiration building

You are invited to visit my relevant posts

MVRDV – Inspirational Architecture Firm 

The New Vertical City –” Conscious Inspiration


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8 Responses to “MVRDV & Le Corbusier and the ultimate inspiration building, Le Corbusier’s “Unite D’habitation” in Marseille”

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