ECAL Takes Over Apartment 50 in Le Corbusier’s Radiant City
PHOTOS BY MICHEL BONVIN
Since it was renovated in the early 2000s and restored to its original 1952 condition, Apartment 50 in Le Corbusier’s famous Cité Radieuse housing complex in Marseilles, France, has played host to a rotating cast of designers — Jasper Morrison in 2008 followed by the Bouroullecs, Konstantin Grcic, and, perhaps most successfully, Pierre Charpin. But a group of Swiss design students may have just completed our favorite intervention yet: From July 4 through 19, the privately owned home will be open to the public, showcasing a collection of pieces created by the Masters in product design students at ECAL, who were asked to design objects responding to everyday life in the housing complex. The project began last fall with a three-day workshop that allowed the students to experience life in the Cité Radieuse. Based on their research, they created objects that specifically responded to variables such as the apartment’s climate, its communal areas, and its status as a sometime tour venue for visiting groups — rugs, fans, rotating lamps, and picnic boxes among them. A 52-page publication, featuring objects produced by designers and documenting everyday life in the building, accompanies the exhibition, but we’re sneak peeking the images from the exhibition here today.