Els Slots (The Netherlands):
Well, after the two dismissals in the past years this probably will never become a WHS. But I did like my visit to the Villa Jeanneret-Perret in La Chaux-de-Fonds. It was the icing on the cake of my trip to this watchmaking town.
The Villa, locally known and signposted as "Maison Blanche", was Le Corbusier's first independent building. It dates from 1912, and his family subsequently lived there. It has been renovated in 2005. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday it is open to the general public.
I arrived on foot, a steep and long walk from the railway station, at 10.30 on a Saturday morning. There were no other visitors, and I was taken care of by two charming ladies. The house is so recently renovated that it looks a bit too bright - I especially wondered about the wall paper with colourful flowers. But the design is original. It probably was a very fine house to live in, in what now is a very affluent suburb of La Chaux-de-Fonds. The whole neighbourhood is full of houses that must cost at least a million.
The only other Le Corbusier building I have seen so far is the Casa Curutchet in La Plata (Argentina). That one looks a lot more modern - no wonder since it is 36 years younger. This house in Switzerland shows his earliest experiments.
Date posted: July 2011
Have you been to Oeuvre urbaine et architecturale de Le Corbusier? Share your experiences!