Pavilion Le Corbusier Zurich pays homage to the architect.
The Pavilion Le Corbusier, located in Zurich, was originally built in 1967 by interior designer Heidi Weber as a cultural museum dedicated to the work of Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Designed by the architect himself, the building was intended as a place to show his work.
In 2016, architects Silvio Schmed and Arthur Rüegg took on the restoration of this iconic structure, paying homage to an architect who was the forerunner of urban design, a pioneer of sustainability, and a leader of modernism. His influence today can be found rooted in modern culture, from Karl Lagerfeld to Kanye West.
When arriving at the Pavilion, visitors are struck by the eye-catching enamel panels in primary hues. Each panel is a metal sheet clad with an enamelled panel on the facade side and a wood veneer on the interior. Engineer Jean Prouvé helped Le Corbusier with the panel design, integrating neoprene seals for the glazed parts in a style usually used by the car industry.
And although Le Corbusier aficionados may recognize some of his trademark style, this building was, in fact, a sidestep from his usual design, being that it was created using steel and glass when Corbusier favoured concrete and stone.
Visitors are encouraged to take an ‘architectural promenade’ through the four floors of the building, coming out onto a free-floating rooftop. Throughout, visitors will marvel at the detail–shaped bronze door handles, shiny wood-veneered walls, mesmeric concrete stairs and beautifully placed furniture showing Le Corbusier’s talents in standalone pieces.
Original pieces from the architect’s private collection, spanning historical photographs, casts, paintings, ceramics, bronzes and furniture, are displayed alongside loans from the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris and the Antikenmuseum Basel, and 16mm film clips of Le Corbusier, building a visual and thematic journey through the pavilion; while his legendary 1931 installation ‘Les arts dits primitifs dans la maison d’aujourd’hui’ has been recreated in the two-story atrium on the ground floor.
Design lovers will enjoy spending time in every corner of this considered building, with its core of studied detailing. Going forward, the house will fulfil its original purpose – as a space to display art. Through a collection of objects such as shells, flotsam and industrial glass that Le Corbusier found to be compelling. As we explore his own mind, we, in turn, learn what inspired the most influential architect of the 20th century.
An architect who was the forerunner of urban design, a pioneer of sustainability, and a leader of modernism
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