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Le Corbusier’s concrete city in the sky.

In 1947, a devastated France wrestled with a baby boom. The authorities turned to architect Le Corbusier, who had a plan for a city in the sky that used the only building material available in post-war France: poured concrete. The result is Marseille’s Unité d’Habitation.

A mammoth monument to budget design, it envisioned communal living for 1,600 residents (complete with rooftop garden, day care center and a paddling pool). Europe’s housing ministers were so impressed that they asked Le Corbusier to plant replica towers in Nantes and Berlin.

In 2016, the Marseille building and its timeless third floor hotel became part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For the princely sum of €79, one may sleep in a monument historique complete with concrete balcony and panoramic views over the Mediterranean.

Hôtel Le Corbusier
280 Boulevard Michelet,
13008 Marseille


  • Words:
    Tristan Rutherford
  • Photography:
    Courtesy of Studio Bouroullec and FLC/ADAGP Paris
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