Chemin de Pouillerel 12
Case postale 2329
2302 La Chaux-de-Fonds
Le Corbusier 1912
The Maison blanche is the first villa Charles-Edouard Jeanneret built for his parents, who lived in it from 1912 to 1919. His first building as a professional architect marks a clear break from his earlier villas in the regional Art Nouveau style.
It was put on the list of historical monuments in 1979 and bought in 2002 by the Association Maison blanche, who restored it as close to the original state as possible and opened it to the public.
The combination of modern architecture, especially of German influence, with the Mediterranean tradition makes the Maison blanche a tangible proof of the experiences in aesthetics and building trade the young architect acquired at the Art School of his home town and during his stays in Vienna (1907), Paris (1908), Germany (1910) and on his “trip to the Orient” (1911). For a long time, the Maison blanche was barely known, but today, it proves its importance for the origin of the futuristic ideas which Le Corbusier developed in the twenties in his purist villas: ribbon windows, roof gardens or the architectural promenade.
The house also provided Jeanneret with the opportunity to try out new materials, like fibrocement for the roof cover or linoleum for the floors.
2009 (updated 2011)
How to visit
La Chaux-de-Fonds is about 20km north of Neuchâtel, and 90km north of Lausanne. The Maison blanche is located at Chemin de Pouillerel in the upper part of town, north of the Avenue Léopold-Robert, near the animal park Bois-du-Petit-Château.
Access is possible by bus No. 10, direction Plaisance, or bus No. 4 direction Hospital.
Open to the public Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5 pm, other days on request. Guided tours in French take place at 11am on the first and third Saturday of every month from April to October.
Books and other web sites
For more information, call the Association Maison blanche at +41 32 910 90 30 or visit the www.maisonblanche.ch.
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