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Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind vie to put their stamp on Le Corbusier’s Villa Le Lac


Daniel Libeskind: Homage to Le Corbusier

Adding an extension to a Le Corbusier building is controversial to say the least, but on the 50th anniversary of the inimitable architect’s death, this is exactly the task the founder and curator of the museum at Villa Le Lac has set ten of today’s leading architects for the exhibition Homage to Le Corbusier.

Le Corbusier’s startling spare Villa Le Lac is synonymous with functionalism and innovation. The small, flat-roofed Lausanne lakehouse built for his parents is perhaps one of the architect’s simplest (and most personal) designs and yet crystallised several of his most innovative ideas.

Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, Mario Botta, Toyo Ito, SANAA, Rudy Ricciotti, Bernard Tschumi, Gigon/Guyer, Alvaro Siza and Rafael Moneo’s have all submitted proposals for extensions of Villa Le Lac. Their proposals run the gamut from designs that honour the original building to brazen splashes of ego. Libeskind suggests raising the villa on the thin white columns (pilotis) integral to Le Corbusier’s designs, whilst Zaha Hadid has submitted a characteristically neofuturist canopy to completely cover the modest house, and French architect Rudy Ricciotti has proposed building a subterranean dining room with a glass wall looking underwater.

The exhibition displays their contributions as well as Le Corbusier’s own drawings, and photographs taken between 1920 and 1930, and is one of this year’s many shows celebrating his outstanding contributions to modern architecture.

Homage to Le Corbusier is on at Villa Le Lac in Lausanne until October 27.