Le Corbusier, who is one of the 20th century’s most admired architects and a key member of the Modernist movement, designed the cabin as a seaside escape away from Parisian city life. For 18 years Le Corbusier spent every August at the cabin, built in 1951 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin – a small enclave between Monaco and Manton on the south coast. Although the Cabanon resembles a traditional Canadian log cabin from the outside, it was carefully designed along modular principles developed by Le Corbusier.
Made from prefabricated parts, the design is based on the Modulor – an anthropometric scale of proportion developed by the architect in response to the movement of the human body. The cabin contains a single 3.6 by 3.6-metre wood-lined room, with no kitchen or indoor washing facilities.
Resembling a row of gypsy caravans in bright primary colours, these houses were more in keeping with Le Corbusier’s Brutalist style, offering a greater contrast to the rustic log cabin next to them. The cabin is the smallest of Le Corbusier’s projects to be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List of internationally significant architecture. It is also the most tied to the architect’s personal life.