Villa Le Lac
21 route de Lavaux
1802 Corseaux

Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret 1924

Le Corbusier built the Villa Le Lac for his parents to live in. His mother continued to do so until she died in 1960 at the age of 101, and his brother lived their until 1973. It is the smallest and simplest of the white villas Le Corbusier designed, to fit with his parents limited budget; indeed it no longer appears as a white villa, because structural problems caused by the lake, the cellar and the cheap building materials drove Le Corbusier to face the exterior in aluminum in the 1950s. 

The Villa Le Lac is Le Corbusier's first Modern building in his native Switzerland, and his first use of the long horizontal window, running here the whole length of the sitting room and semi-open-plan bedroom and bathroom to take advantage of the lakeside view. While the sitting room enjoys this open panorama, it is the garden that has its view of the lake framed by a square window opening in the stone wall.

The villa has an economical plan with no corridor space, designed to meet the needs of two people without servants. The whole living quarters, including guest bedroom, are efficiently packed into a 15m x 4m space. Unconventionally, Le Corbusier had designed this plan for the Villa before finding the site, and carried it with him in search of the right place to build.

An additional bedroom and front wall were added later when a new road was built in front of the property, requiring protection from noise and the providing the opportunity to expand onto the track that had previously provided access.

Simon Glynn 2002 (updated 2010)


How to visit

The Villa Le Lac is on the west edge of Vevey, on route de Lavaux, the road leading out of town beyond the Nestlé headquarters building. The villa is shortly on your left, car parking is signposted just beyond. On foot it is around 15 minutes from the center of Vevey. 

The villa is open to the public, on Monday from 9am to 12pm and on Wednesday from 1.30 pm to 5 pm from April to October. Admission is CHF 10 per person. It can be visited at other times by appointment, but with a minimum party cost of CHF 100. To check opening times please call +41 79 829 63 08 or email  

Books and other web sites

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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