rue Adrien Lachenal
Le Corbusier and Pierre
Viewed on a gray rainy day, the
Maison Clarté seems to have stood the test of time rather less well than
other Le Corbusier buildings of the period - hence the departure from
galinsky's normal practice to include a sunny contemporary photograph to
complement the current ones.
'The client was Edmond Wanner,
a Geneva industrialist, who also acted as contractor... The Clarté
rises out of the complex street pattern like a stranded ocean liner. The
lower level shops and entryways introduce a satisfactory street scale.
The impact of the block is blunted by a curved podium with a facade of
plate glass set into glass bricks.
The slab itself is formed from
a steel armature of standardized elements, yet the building still makes
a less memorable claim on the ideal of standardization than its
much less standardized 1920s precedents, let alone its more polemical
cousins, the Pavillon Suisse and the
Cité de Refuge.
The apartments are
double-height and have terraces made from cantilevered extensions of the
slabs... The slabs in turn protect the facade from the elements and
support colored awnings against the rays of the sun. There was a
tentative beginning here of the idea of a sun-shade facade.'
William J.R. Curtis, Le
Corbusier - Ideas and Forms, 1986
Simon Glynn 2002
How to visit
Rue A. Lachenal is on the
north-east corner of Geneva's old town. To get there on foot from the pont
du Mont-Blanc at the end of the lake, follow the road quai
Général-Guisan past the Jardin anglais with the flowerbed clockface, as
far as the place des Eaux Vives. Head south along this elongated place
into the carrefour de Rive, then bear left up hill into rue A. Lachenal.
The Maison Clarté is almost immediately on the left.
The building is not open to the
public and no information is displayed about its history (or even
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