© Cyrille Weiner

CITÉ DE REFUGE

REDEVELOPMENT AND RESTORATION
OF THE CENTRE FOR ACCOMMODATION
AND SOCIAL REINTEGRATION
DESIGNED BY LE CORBUSIER

In 1929, the Cité de Refuge was the first large Paris-based commission to have been awarded to Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret.

This ambitious project was based on the social ideals of the Salvation Army to accommodate people in need of housing and social reintegration, and yet was in itself a work of art. The finished building offered a perfect illustration of Le Corbusier’s ideas at the time and was a remarkable application of the five-point theory of modern architecture.

© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner

The decision was made to give back to this social project designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret a lucidity and clarity worthy of a major work of the 20th century.

The building suffered extensive damage during World War II, which led Le Corbusier to create a second façade in 1952, giving the construction a completely different appearance. Rash improvement projects carried out in the 1970s and later modifications gradually hid the building’s major qualities.

The project of major redevelopment and restoration was of great theoretical, technical, and financial complexity. Its success was the outcome of a collaborative method that involved the Salvation Army Foundation, the Le Corbusier Foundation, the “Conservation régionale des monuments historiques” (Regional Commissioner for Historic Monuments), the “Commission du Vieux Paris” (Commission for Historical Paris), the social housing company 3F Résidences and the construction company Bateg, part of the Vinci group.

© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner
Location
Paris, 13th arrondissement
Mission
Redevelopment
and restoration
Programme
Housing
Contractor
3F Résidences
de France (RSF) / 3F
Team
Chatillon Architectes
(associate architect), François
Gruson (lead architect),
Vanessa Fernandez (scientific
consultant)
Budget
€ 25m excl. of VAT
Timetable
2009 – 2015
Awards
Geste d’Or 2015

We adapted the building to the requirements of contemporary life, instilling it with lucidity and clarity by means of partial restorations and the restitution of details found through the study of archive documentation. We also consulted numerous experts on the colours used at the time of the original construction.

The exemplary nature of the project was awarded the Geste d’Or prize in 2015 in the category “Architecture, Urbanism and Society”.

© Cyrille Weiner