The building called Villa Savoye is private
home built in the 1928 for the Savoye family. It was designed by the Swiss-
born architect Le Corbusier. The Villa rapidly has become one of the most influential
buildings in the International style of architecture and cemented Le Corbusier’s
reputation as one of the most architects of the 20th century.
It is located just outside Paris and is
totally surrounded by nature. The landscape plays an important role in terms of
the building`s proprieties. The Villa Savoye it`s a building with complex
geometry and undecorated white walls which exemplifies the International style
as well as Le Corbusier’s idea of purism.
The entire exterior of the building follows
the shape of a box as seen from the drawing, which is raised using the well-known
pilotis also named as columns or stilts. The reason behind this aspect is that
the main rooms of the building are located on the first floor allowing space
for a roof with terrace which communicates with the surrounding landscape.
Villa Savoye is a key building which exemplified the International Style. It had
a big influence on other architects’ buildings.
easy see the similarities in the buildings of the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements,
features like rectangular façade, concrete slab roof and connected spaces can
be found in all styles but they are represented most strongly in Villa Savoye.
The presence of white walls is another aspect of the modernism style,
frequently found in many examples from that period.
The purpose of the building is to explore the concept of
the “inside outside “using the International Style characteristics such as long
ribbon windows or even entire window walls which connects the environment of
the house with the landscape outside as can be seen clearly these details in
the left hand side drawing. “The house is a box in the air, pierced all around,
without interruptions, by a long window” Le Corbusier
villa is quite big having 408as
The villa was constructed taking in consider
the system “Five points” which Le Corbusier had developed in order to guide to
his modernist architectural style.
The system needed pilotis to
lift the building off the ground and allow air to circulate underneath; Functional roof serving as a garden and terrace to bring nature into an urban scenery; an open plan
that allowed interior space to be spread freely upon the clients or architects
wish; freely designed façade, this time
not affected by load; and ribbon glazed windows, providing illumination and
insuring that the environment is good ventilated.
The blend between indoor and
outdoor of the Villa Sevoye has allowed the family to spend time outwards in an
The flat land which surrounded
by trees makes the building to stand out.
The preferred main material
of construction was reinforced concrete as it was highly demanded at that time
as well as beam structure.
Even if Le Corbusier`s concept of Five points
overcomplicated the process of construction and then making the stay of the
Savoye family a bit difficult , it remains an iconic fusion between the surrounding
landscape and the modern architecture.
“The house should be a
machine for living in,” as he declared.
The Villa Savoye has cavity walls which is
made up of 2 layers of concrete masonry and a cavity between them allowing to
building to keep the warmth inside during the winter
White plaster has been used on façade to
emphasise the idea of purism, also for the windows Le Corbusier has chosen wood
instead of the higgle demanded steel in order to blend with the natural
materials from landscape such as wood.
Villa Savoye’s detachment
from its physical context lends its design to be contextually integrated into
the mechanistic/industrial context of the early 20th century, conceptually
defining the house as a mechanized entity.
The house looks like is
floating on the pilotis as seen in the rough sketch. The curved glass façade is
designed in a way that the cars are able to turn in a circle way in the garage.
These curved lines in the house as observed also on the spiral staircase,
creates this harmonious effect blended with the straight lines inspired from
The design of the building allows
plenty of natural light to get trough as walls containing endless ribbons of
windows and few internal walls because the reinforced concrete within the
structures supports the extra load.
Although the boxy looking
like structure is predominant in the Villa Savoye, the curved handrails and edgings
gives the impression of movement and free flowing as well as continuity between
the spaces located in the house.
Even though the building has
so many iconic characteristics and the structure is made out of the modern materials
at that time, the flat roof didn’t behave as expected due to the climate. It
had major leaks and the owners hat to abandon it soon.ret