THE FRENCH RIVIERA, A LITTORAL WITH THE BIGGEST NAMES IN MODERN ARCHITECTURE
6 April 2021
Seaside life was invented in the 1730s on the English coast after bourgeois and aristocrats got rich with the industrial revolution. It was the era of summer towns on the shores of the English Channel and the North Sea, until the "pleasure trains" came to connect the capitals to new destinations from 1850 and thus invent a new resort tourism on all coasts, particularly in France. Nice thus becomes the first winter seaside resort in Europe.
However, it was not until 1887 that the French writer and poet Stéphen Liégeard invented the term "Côte d´Azur" to replace the name "Riviera" and to circumscribe a territory going from La Ciotat to Menton. The era was then mainly in the construction of palaces and villas. But this appropriation of the Mediterranean coasts, and later the democratization of tourism for all in the 1950s, will transform the Côte d'Azur into a land of experiences where the biggest names in modern architecture will come together: Rob Mallet -Stevens, Eileen Gray, Jean Prouvé or Le Corbusier ...
Indeed, one of the greatest architects of the beginning of the 20th century, Le Corbusier, was inspired by the lands of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin for the realization of this work, a place with which he had fallen madly in love. Among the most famous, the shed, a construction imagined at the beginning of the 20th century. It is certainly the most famous shed in the world. Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris was born on October 6, 1887. Architect, town planner, decorator, painter and sculptor, he is one of the main representatives of the modern movement. It was in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin that Le Corbusier's creativity completely evolved. He had created the concept of the Modulor and a shed unique in the world of 3.66 m by 2.26 m. Today, the site is part of the Coastal Conservatory in order to remain in the public domain. Le Corbusier died at the age of 77 of a heart attack while swimming in front of his shed. The Roquebrune-Cap-Martin site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
CONTEMPORARY SPACES - "Côte d´Azur, architectural stroll" on 08/09/2017 by Maxime Pegatoquet
FRANCE3 REGIONS - "Roquebrune-Cap-Martin: the slice of life of a genius architect" 02/20/2019 by Véronique Lupo