Maison Zigzag Quartiers Modernes Frugès by Le Corbusier


Among Le Corbusier’s notable contributions to 20th-century architecture were his ideas for low-cost social housing, which he notoriously put forward in the 1923 manifesto. Towards architecture (Towards architecture). Around the same time, the visionary architect began work on Quartiers Modernes Frugès, a planned community of several dozen houses in Pessac, France. Nearly a century later, the development is still buzzing with residents, one of whom recently listed a premier corner unit for sale.

This two-story corner residence is one of some fifty units that Le Corbusier designed for the Quartiers Modernes Frugès in Pessac, France.

Recent renovations have retained most of the home’s original floor plan while adding new features such as revolving glass doors that open to the front and side gardens.

The development was one of two that Le Corbusier had planned and built for the sugar industrialist Henri Frugès, and it served as a neighborhood for his employees. Each residence offered first-class amenities for the period, including private rooftop terraces, parking lots, bathrooms with showers, and boilers to provide hot water. Still, the design was not without controversy, and its brightly colored concrete facades were a radical departure from the traditional architecture of the surrounding area.

Le Corbusier, with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, created six typologies for residences, including the “zigzag” triplex design of the recently listed unit. Two of the zigzag structures were built – shown here in the lower left corner of this diagram.

Many units have been altered since development was completed, and some were destroyed during WWII, although recent efforts have focused on protecting and revitalizing the community. The site was declared a Local Historic Landmark in the 1980s and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.

The unit for sale is located in one of two “zigzag” buildings, so named for their Z-shaped plan which connects three residences perpendicularly. All the plans of the units were designed according to Le Corbusier’s standardized grid of five meters by five meters.

Another view of the breakfast room shows the skylight above.

Located in a rounded alcove, the compact kitchen features wraparound shelves and counters.

Offering two bedrooms and one bathroom, the 915 square foot residence occupies two levels. Downstairs, the original open concept living and dining room is divided by a central staircase and has windows running almost the full width to one side. Upstairs, one of the bedrooms offers direct access to a roof terrace, which is topped by the building’s characteristic pergola and overlooks the private garden. Keep scrolling to see more of the property, currently listed for € 472,000 (~ $ 564,677).

The open concept living / dining room is located off the kitchen. An original central staircase leads to the bedrooms.

The sunny living room benefits from a large row of windows along one wall.

Upstairs, each of the two bedrooms offers a lot of natural light.

The renovated bathroom is shared between the bedrooms.

The master bedroom offers direct access to the roof terrace.

The terrace topped with a pergola overlooks the garden on two sides and offers a privacy wall along the other. The kitchen skylight is located in the corner.

Accessible from the kitchen, a lower level patio is bordered by the lush garden.

Another view of the structure shows the attached garage at the end.

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