Unité d’Habitation in Marseille

A main piece of work of the Le Corbusier workshop, which served as a laboratory for putting into practice the idea of living together; it was financed by the Ministry of Reconstruction in the post-war period. It is an 18-story housing building with 337 apartments (of 23 types), including a shopping street, a hotel, a restaurant, and a kindergarten on the roof terrace. As a member of ATBAT, Xenakis had to deal with static calculations, mainly concerning beams and columns. Xenakis began to take architectural initiatives, for example when he designed, in collaboration with Nadir Afonso, another painter-architect who was part of the team, the household “garbage collection” station. This independent structure is distinguished by its organic forms. These will reappear in Xenakis’ designs for the street lamps, which will light the entrances to the apartments along the shopping street as well as in the park of the grounds. Xenakis also participated in the design of the kindergarten, a project commissioned from Le Corbusier, after the inauguration of the Unité d’Habitation.