Converted boiler house designed by Le Corbusier asks for $ 450,000 in France


The disused structure was built in the 1950s for the French real estate project La Cité Radieuse in Briey-en-Forêt.

When you hear the name of Le Corbusier, the master designer and pioneer of the modern movement, chances are a boiler room is not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet a tiny structure hidden near the French border with Luxembourg offers the possibility of owning a unique piece of architectural history. Originally built for one of Le Corbusier’s famous “Unité d’habitation” housing projects, the old utility building was converted into an unusual weekend retreat years ago, and it is now for sale.

Built in the 1950s, the cubic structure was designed by Le Corbusier to house the coal-fired boiler of his HLM “Unité d’habitation de Briey”. The structure was decommissioned and abandoned when a new boiler room was built inside the building years later.

The current owner purchased the building in its original condition and turned it into a multi-level single-family residence. The renovated structure was recently listed as a Historic Monument of France, along with the rest of the building complex.

The efforts to rebuild France after World War II provided Le Corbusier with the opportunity to realize his long-held ideas for communal social housing. Also known as his “Radiant City” designs, the Brutalist structures used a high-rise concrete frame in which various apartment floor plans could be arranged in a modular fashion.

The first and most famous of the projects was built in Marseille, in the south of France, followed by other locations in the 1950s and 1960s. The converted boiler room is located on the site of Le Corbusier’s “Cité Radieuse”. in Briey, a small and charming town located a few hours west of Paris and bordered by thick forests.

The smooth concrete facade is adorned with a series of ribbon windows along the top on three sides. Lush vegetation surrounds the building and separates it from the main residential complex.

Inside, the upper level is now an open living space. The windows offer a panoramic view of the wooded area.

The dense vegetation surrounding the main apartment building made it possible for Le Corbusier to easily hide the boiler in a separate structure across the street. Later decommissioned and sold with a 0.35 acre parcel of land, the original double-height boiler room was split into two levels, with ample work space downstairs and living space downstairs. stage. The current owners, without load-bearing walls, have created an open and multi-functional floor plan. Keep scrolling to see more of the interior of the property, which was recently listed for around $ 450,000.

Le Corbusier designed seven buttresses facing inward to support the concrete frame. From a large shell, the current owners have created two main levels while leaving the framework and some original elements exposed.

An office and an open concept living room extend over half of the floor. The interior walls enclose several rooms.

An open-plan kitchen has been fitted in a corner adjacent to the living room.

Stairs lead to a multipurpose space along the floor of the original boiler room. An intermediate balcony gives access to a separate bedroom and bathroom which were used as an overnight rental.

This vast lower level currently houses the resident’s artwork, but could also serve as an office or a public exhibition hall. Three smaller bedrooms are nearby, including an additional WC.

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