As Paris is celebrating 50th anniversary to its architectural hero’s death, with exhibitions, events, and other celebrations, I decided to devote my first day in Paris to visit Maison La Roche, the house Le Corbusier built to showcase his collection. Situated just next to Boulevard Mozart, the building and its neighborhood are so quite that at times, it seems as if Maison La Roche is Paris’ best kept secret. Unlike his Villa Savoye, which was built only three years later as a private commission, Maison La Roche came to fulfill two key functions: a home for Le Corbusier’s brother, Albert, and an art gallery (a period photo above). The plan is therefore split up these functions into two distinctive quarters: living areas are grouped together, while the other side is devoted to the public spaces and the gallery. The most stunning aspect of Maison La Roche aside from the brilliant building programme, is the palette of colors used for the interiors, and brought to life during an extensive restoration project completed in 2009. The use of polychromatic rooms had been experimental and was conceived as a link between the architect’s worlds of painting and architecture. While the entrance hall and dining area are monochromatic, the gallery, living areas, gallery, and bedrooms are all colorful, carefully confined to the famed palette Le Corbusier used in his Purist paintings.
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