Provence & Côte d'Azur: Iconic building severly damaged by fire
Apartment fire Marseille
A fire that began last Thursday in Marseille in the listed apartment block designed by the internationally renowned architect Le Corbusier, was finally extinguished early Friday morning. All residents, some of whom have lived in ‘La Cité radieuse’ since it was completed in 1952, had to be evacuated.
Eight apartments in all were totally burnt out and several others were damaged. The cause of the fire has not yet been established.
The blue print for the building was originally drawn up in 1947, breaking new ground in architectural design for apartments, and subsequently influenced design for apartment blocks in France and elsewhere in the 1950s. At the time the complex, which contains over 300 apartments of various sizes and different layouts, was considered so original that it affectionately, or derogatorily, earned the nickname of ‘La Cité des fadas’ (very loosely translated to ‘The loony-bin’). Although Le Corbusier never lived in his ‘Cité’, he was a frequent summer resident to Roquebrune on the Riviera up until 1965, when he drowned tragically off Cap Martin.