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Poster symbol for architectural movement: Le Corbusier was heavily influenced by the movement of cars, which served as a driving force behind Villa Savoye's construction. Its design is based on the concept of the house as a 'machine for living' and follows Corbusier's five points of new architecture, which include a free façade, ribbon windows, open plan, flat roof terrace, and pilotis.
Global recognition: Villa Savoye was originally built as a country retreat for the Savoye family. It is the last building in Corbusier's 'white villa' series of private homes, which he constructed in collaboration with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret. In 1962, the French government bought the property; consequently, in 2016, it was listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Educational experience: Le Corbusier is a pioneer of modern architecture and has defined the boundaries of International Style. Visiting Villa Savoye is a must for any architecture student and enthusiast. Despite being designed in the 1930s, the villa is an excellent example of integrating the outdoor and indoor spaces and an overall innovative design, still serving as a massive inspiration to designers and architects today.
Temporary art exhibitions: Villa Savoye often holds temporary exhibitions featuring contemporary artists, allowing visitors to witness an intersection of art and architecture. The medley of these two disciplines helps to broaden the horizons of creative processes amongst people who identify as art and architecture enthusiasts.
The villa is built with long, horizontal ribbon windows, ensuring unobstructed light inside the house. One could stand inside the house behind those windows and enjoy an unrestricted view of the lush surrounding landscape. These horizontal windows are a signature sign of Le Corbusier and make an innovative use of the raw materials and design principles.
When you go up on the villa's roof, you will find that the terrace doubles down as a garden. This hanging garden extends its living space to the outdoors and helps build a close connection to green nature. Corbusier believed that having a usable terrace with a roof garden was fundamental and essential in bringing Mother Nature to the four walls of your house.
The villa is designed with an open floor plan. It has no structural bearing walls, which resonates with Corbusier's belief in having a functional and flexible house layout. The open floor plan ensures customization of the space and provides a sense of continuity and spaciousness, adding to the villa's modernist aesthetic.
Villa Savoye is devoid of any visible structure on the outside, and this free façade is one of the critical defining features of Corbusier's design. The construction is independent of the concrete piles and beam structure, allowing the installation of horizontal ribbon windows. It ensures ample bright light to flood the interiors of the villa, thus making it quite an airy living space.
Le Corbusier wanted to enhance the villa's sculptural qualities and thus constructed the house on pilotis or stilts. It gives the villa an effect of a 'box in the air.' The elevation of the villa eliminates the need for load-bearing walls, seamlessly combining outdoor and indoor spaces. Creating a house on stilts is also one of the prime aspects of Le Corbusier’s ‘Five Points of Architecture.’
To ensure appropriate circulation in the villa, Corbusier incorporated the feature of the circular staircase. It flawlessly connects the different floors of Villa Savoye, permitting fluid transition between the levels. This staircase begins from the ground floor and goes up to the terrace garden, including the cellar. Its sculptural quality and helical form make for a visually captivating attribute of the villa's interiors.
Last Entry: 30 minutes before the closing time
Closed on: Monday, May 1st, December 25th and January 1st
Best time to visit: Plan your visit during spring or fall since it's pretty pleasant during those months. Visiting early in the morning would be more favorable if you want to avoid large crowds.
Address: 82, rue de Villiers, 78300 Poissy
Villa Savoye has two entrances.
The first one is the main entrance, only for the owners, that leads to the second floor. The other entrance is smaller, made for the servant class, and its access is via a spiral staircase.
Villa Savoye is a modernist architectural masterpiece designed by Le Corbusier in the 1930s.
Villa Savoye is situated in Poissy, a suburb of Paris, France.
Tickets are available online or at the on-site visitor center.
Pilotis, free façade, open floor plan, ribbon windows, and terrace roof garden are the "five points of architecture" at Villa Savoye.
Yes, audio guides are available at Villa Savoye in 5 different languages.
Villa Savoye is open from 10 AM to 6 PM, Tuesday to Sunday, from May 2nd to August 31st. The timing is 10 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday to Sunday, from September 1st to April 30th.
Villa Savoye is accessible for people with reduced mobility, although the toilets are not wheelchair accessible.
No, you need a valid ticket to enter Villa Savoye. But kids under 18, disabled people and their companions, job seekers, and people with valid education passes can join for free.
You can enter Villa Savoy for free on the first Sunday in January, February, March, November, and December.
Pets are generally not allowed inside the villa except for guide dogs.
Yes, self-guided tours are possible, providing flexibility in exploring the villa.
Yes, there are restroom facilities available for visitors.
Villa Savoye is a masterpiece of modernist architecture. Its innovative design, historical significance, and serene ambiance make it a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts.