toit terrasse de l'immeuble de la Cité Radieuse, Le Corbusier, vue sur la cheminée
ExploreThis iconic architectural masterpieceListed as a UNESCO World Heritage site

'Cité Radieuse' of Le Corbusier

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the ‘Cité Radieuse’ (radiant city) designed by Le Corbusier is an unmissable visit to be had with the Metropolitan Office of Tourism and Conventions. This ‘unité d’habitation’ (housing block unit) is indeed full of surprises. It is a real architectural concept playing with lights, perspectives, and colours. More than an apartment complex, it is a creative and avant-garde architectural work in its own right. New and modern for a 20th-century building, it reflects above all Charles-Edouard Jeanneret’s (Le Corbusier) desire to offer daily comfort and well-being to the residents. Come for a visit and you will be charmed by this ‘must-see’ Marseille site, a tour for young and old alike!

A ‘must-see’ of Marseille

A new housing unit system

This building is the work of the Swiss architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier. It is the first of five ‘Unité d’Habitation’ and was built between 1947 and 1952.

This vertical garden city is a set of individual apartments mounted on stilts and built as a collective structure. It was designed as a proof of concept for a new housing system. The ‘Cité radieuse’ accommodates 337 apartments of 23 different types, all of which provided comfortable and modern accommodation for the time.

A unique concept

These individual spaces benefit from ‘housing extensions’ found inside the ‘cité radieuse’, designed to stimulate a new experience of collective housing with:

An indoor high street with a bookshop and a publishing house Imbernon, a bar and restaurant: Le Ventre de l’Architecte, a hotel: Le Corbusier, a Design Concept Store: the 318 and a Tea Room “l’Archi Gourmand”.

Residents can also benefit from a communal roof-top area comprising a primary school, a gym converted into MaMo (Contemporary Art Centre) since June 2013 and led by the designer Ora-Ïto, and a running track.
Around the complex, a huge 2.8 hectares park is open all year round.

Did you know?

Enjoy the exclusive visit of an apartment in the listed historical monument with a tour guide of  the Metropolitan Office of Tourism! This tour is an opportunity to learn everything there is to know about the ‘cité radieuse’, its various spaces, high street, and rooftop.

For individual visitors, the areas open to the general public are freely accessible. This building is privately owned. All visits must be carried out with respect for the residents.

UNESCO World Heritage sites in Provence

Provence is one of the richest regions in France in terms of culture and history. 36,000 years separate the Chauvet Cave and the Cité Radieuse of Le Corbusier, but only 150 km!

UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the ‘Cité radieuse’, the Roman theatre and the ‘Arc de Triomphe’ in Orange, the Historic Centre of Avignon (with the ‘Palais des Papes’, the ‘Pont Saint Bezenet’, the ramparts, Notre Dame Basilica and the Doms garden, the ‘Petit Palais’ Museum), the ‘Pont du Gard’, the Roman and Romanesque Monuments in Arles and the Abbatial Church of Saint Gilles all decided to promote their cultural heritage together to French and foreign customers.

Watch the movie from the UNESCO sites in Provence

Architectural Promenades – Le Corbusier Destinations

The ‘Cité radieuse’ is part of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe ‘Destinations Le Corbusier: architectural promenades’ since 2019.

This cultural project is sustained by the Foundation Le Corbusier and promoted by the Association of Le Corbusier Sites:  www.sites-le-corbusier.org
Le Corbusier in the area: Discover another masterpiece by Le Corbusier only 2.5 hours from Marseille: The Cabanon located in Roquebrune-Cap Martin

“You cannot be given Marseille, you have to discover it for yourself”. This is why the Bouches-du-Rhônes’ Architects Union offers to join you on your adventure to explore some of the contemporary architectural wonders, to decipher its codes, its districts, its ambiances.

This is the whole point of an architectural promenade.

Discover the promenades here

Practical information

Booking is essential. Click here.

For more information, call 0826 500 500 (0,15€ per minute from a landline). 

The tour is also available for groups (over 10 people). For more information, please email groupes@marseille-tourisme.com

Access: Metro 1 or 2 stop ‘Castellane’ and bus B1 direction ‘Campus de Luminy’ stop ‘Le Corbusier’

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