Le Corbusier’s Cabanon - the interior 1:1



A 1:1 replica of Le Corbusier's holiday home, designed by the architect for his own use, is on show at the RIBA in London.


Le Corbusier built the Cabanon in 1952 for his holidays at Cap-Martin on the Cote D'Azure, retreating there every summer for more than ten years.


He claimed to have sketched the design for the Cabanon in 45 minutes.


The interior is decorated with murals and bespoke furniture and fittings.


The reconstruction will remain on show until 28 April.


Photographs by Andrea Ferrari.

Here's some more information from manufacturers Cassina, who produced the installation:


Le Corbusier’s Cabanon
The Interior 1:1
Le Corbusier 1952 - Cassina 2006
5th of March – 28th of April 2009
RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)

The Royal Institute of British Architects and Cassina present the exhibition Le Corbusier’s Cabanon. The Interior 1:1. Le Corbusier 1952 - Cassina 2006 which will remain open from the 5th of March to the 28th of April 2009, in the Florence Hall of the RIBA.


The exhibition features the reconstruction of the actual interior of the Cabanon that Le Corbusier planned and built in 1952 for his holidays at Cap-Martin. The Cabanon is an apparently unpretentious sea-side hut, comprising a remarkable example of micro-architecture, full of meaning.


Continuing its research into the work of the Maestri of architecture, Cassina has taken care of this project, now presented with the aim of divulging greater knowledge of the values of the architectural interior. Above: La mer, Cabanon entrance drawing, Le Corbusier 1952/56 © Fondation Le Corbusier.


The Cabanon conceals a valuable example of architecture by Le Corbusier, who intended to assign its principal architectural value only to the interior of the construction. Above: South East window shutter drawing, Le Corbusier 1952/56 © Fondation Le Corbusier.


The construction reveals a rich, logical and harmonious composition of meaningful resolutions, notwithstanding the more than modest dimensions. It first and foremost teaches us that the problem of the home implies the study of quality choices rather than astonishing details or show. This first approach is sufficient enough to remember that the primary factor of a building accomplished - grandiloquent or basic as it may be - is whoever inhabits and transfers human fervour in it. Above: South West window shutter drawing, Le Corbusier 1952/56 © Fondation Le Corbusier.


The Cabanon, conceived, designed and built by the same architect who was to live in it, comprises the ideal conditions of architectural planning, the dialectic synthesis between the concept and the accomplishment. Whereas the powers delegated on the architect by those who see the house as a projection of oneself or a kind of fetish to emulate, represent the perfect antithesis. Above: Le Corbusier arrives at Cap-Martin, ©FLC/SIAE L4(10)87

The reason for the reconstruction of the Cabanon - organised specially for touring exhibitions – intends to make more aware, more participative, the responsibility of the client in relation to the designer. It is respectful of the interior’s standards, full of masterly touches, making up an incomparable source of inspiration for whoever is interested in discovering new values and meanings previously unknown.

In addition to this spectacular installation, RIBA will also house a collection of Le Corbusier furniture, which will be a platform to highlight the special Cassina/Corbusier relationship.

Le Corbusier’s Cabanon. The Interior 1:1.
Le Corbusier 1952 - Cassina 2006
5th of March - 28th of April 2009

Royal Institute of Architects, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)
Book: Le Corbusier. L’Interno del Cabanon, edited by Filippo Alison, Published by Electa

Posted on Friday March 6th 2009 at 10:47 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Roy

    What a perfect space. There’s not much more I can say.

  • dylan

    I thought it was concrete?

  • James

    big fan. but i wouldn’t want to live there.

  • Marcus

    What makes it perfect?

  • great project
    is totally Le Corbusier

    • ana

      what do you mean? It IS Le Corbusier's interior..:)

  • Jeremiah

    While I am not a huge fan of his work, and I think his writing makes him out to be a pompous ass, I like this. It takes the modernist cannon and softens it through material, finish, and lighting choices. Would Corbu call this a machine for vacationing?

  • slater

    Does it look like to anyone else that the toilet is right next to the head rest of the lounge/bed?! I don’t think that was such a good decision….I am a Corbu fan still.

  • Nathan

    I had a chance to see this when it was in Tokyo. I highly recommend experiencing it in person! They also had a 1:1 model of his atelier. Perhaps that will eventually travel as well?

  • Atal

    Le nirvana pour les disciples du Maître!

  • gee, where did his chef/model wife sleep?

  • ZUY

    enorme concrete buiding for others, micro architecture in wood for him

  • ZUY
  • toon

    # 3.1 Architecture

    that explains what he did. you can see the golden ratio “clearly”
    in the second picture, the drawers in the “bed”.

  • I think Corbusier had this little retreat room where nobody could disturb him. So no space for Madame.
    Just himself, painting, naked, in front of his canvas, sketch-books, and sea shells………
    When I see his cabanon it reminds me of his last swim that morning of August 27, 1965 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

  • matt

    wow, that’s so much nothing-else-than-a-wooden-house

  • windbag

    “He claimed to have sketched the design for the Cabanon in 45 minutes.”
    I guess 40 minutes went by sharpening the pencil. just kiddin’, Corbu rulez.

  • Dijana

    Is this inspirational to anyone?… Clear your ideas in order to get something so exact, so right. Maybe we should always direct our creative thinking in such a way to eliminate everything that disturbs pure idea and exact and original form and function and yet so simple and logical… And on the way not do the Modernism again?… Back to basics, at the end we should all come to that… Not in 45 minutes though :)

  • sc

    it’s beautiful

  • Xit

    I love that crate and shelving, so does Jasper

  • ZUY

    … great, it’s inspiring…. i will build in south france forest near Côte d’Azur a red fire container studio with jasper eg cork furniture inside….and an heliport to escape

  • ZUY

    Dijana, are you OK Are my ideas clear?

  • toon

    no you are not making your ideas clear, zuy….

    i think that, with the golden ratio as principle
    to all the sizes in this small building, it really is
    possible to sketch the whole thing in 45 minutes.

    and as Mike Meister Says:
    February 21st, 2009 at 9:10 pm
    in http://www.dezeen.com/2009/02/20/brickchair-by-pepe-heykoop/

    “I believe that dutch design has had a tremendous influence on design, I believe that it actually acted as a confirmation and as a closing argument to postmodernism. ”

    if this is so, we need to look at new ways (and review modernism) to come to an new understanding of what design realy is.

    in this way i think this is an inspiring and great that this whole thing is being showed again.

  • elise

    in every way, this little space reminded me of how valuable and rich, truly beautiful design can be.

  • hanady

    oh.. that is just disgusting
    as if everybody want to sleep in a toilet

    who will love to sleep beside the toilet … yukkky

  • L.W.

    On the whole, I’d rather read Semper

  • saurabh

    I live in Chandigarh, which Le Corbusier designed. You have to reside in spaces designed by him to understand how well they work an how refreshing they are. This would be great too. The softness is to be provided by the humans staying there, while Le corbusier provides the sharp edges. It works brilliantly. Trust me. I know.

  • JM

    What Saurrabh is so true!
    I live in a LC appartment in Cité radieuse in Marseille, and you do have to experience the space to fully appreciate it.
    have a look at the website (visit of the Appartement).
    the cabanon was completed the same year as the Cité radieuse, and in fact they are based on the same principles…

  • Practice and clean. Excellent. I wanted very much of seeing the outside.

  • pooper

    most modern japanese houses include a room that is designed and decorated in the traditional japanese manner, with tatami mats, sliding doors, etc.