Espace Le Corbusier
Rue de Saint-Just-Malmont
42700 Firminy

Le Corbusier 1954-67 (Church 2006)

Eugène Claudius-Petit - the newly elected mayor of Firminy in 1953, who had been Minister for Reconstruction and Town Planning before - wished to offer decent residences to the population. He carried out this project by creating Firminy-Vert ('Green-Firminy'), a new ‘urban unit’ conceived like an urban expansion. This realisation was led following the principles of the Charter of Athens.

As a result - after Chandigarh City in India - this is the largest concentration of Le Corbusier buildings in one place. Here you can visit L’Unité d’Habitation (including a model apartment, the nursery school and the roof terrace), L’Espace Le Corbusier in its entirety, the open-air theatre and - upon request - the St-Pierre Church building site.

Indeed the church was left unfinished because of the high costs for building the concrete roof at the time, and is being completed now following the original plans, although with a new function: a detached location of the Saint Etienne Museum of Modern Art.

The Unité d’Habitation is one in a series of similar buildings by Le Corbusier, including those in Marseille and Berlin.

Claudio Divizia 2006


How to visit

Firminy is about 14 km (9 miiles) from Saint Etienne, in the south of France.

By train, take the national rail Lyon - Saint Etienne - Firminy line. 

By air, the nearest airport is Saint Etienne, with daily low-cost flights to and from London Stansted.

Guided tours Monday to Friday start at 2:30 pm from the Maison de la Culture / Espace Le Corbusier. Visiting on Saturday and Sunday is only by advance booking. The tour lasts about 3 hours.

For more information or to book a tour please call +33 4 77 10 07 77 or email

Books and other web sites

Le Patrimoine Le Corbusier web site is at

Click the book title to view and to order direct from


0486250237_m.gif (4648 bytes) Towards a new architecture
Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier's original architectural 'manifesto', describing what he sought to achieve, as it first appeared in English in 1931. Accessible (if an unconventional style for today) and stimulating.

Le Corbusier: Ideas and forms
William J.R. Curtis

Readable (quite detailed) account of Le Corbusier's work, well illustrated and well structured.

Le Corbusier and the continuing revolution in architecture
Charles Jencks

A hefty but accessible analysis of Le Corbusier's life and work, drawing on his writing and painting as well as building design.


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