The architecture of Le Corbusier should be remembered as divisive as much as it is iconic amongst the design fraternity, and when the locals named his ground-breaking Cité Radieuse “The House of Madness” they weren’t wrong – whether it was meant as an insult or a compliment, the Marseille building constructed between 1945 and 1952 was and remains undeniably crazy in all its concrete beauty. A self-contained village with apartments, shops, restaurants and amenities linked by internal streets, the stilted building features a ship’s bridge on the roof, complete with crow’s nest observation tower.
It’s the roof that we’re concentrating on, having recently become home to the MAMO (MArseille MOdulor) gallery. French designer Ito Morabito, aka Ora-Ito, snapped up the space at auction in 2010, and following a planning battle to demolish a later extension, Ora-Ito got rid of the incumbent gym and solarium and took three years restoring Le Corbusier’s original vision. As part of its MAMO Audi Design Awards, the gallery is currently hosting Architectones by Xavier Veilhan, an artist who is travelling the world setting up installations in iconic modernist buildings.