A Stool for 'Unité d’Habitation', Nantes-Rezé, 1954-1955
Le Corbusier

Painted and veneered composite wood
17¹⁄₄ × 13 × 10¹⁄₂”

The second of four housing units designed by Le Corbusier, the Unité d'Habitation in Nantes-Rezé included these box-like stools which could sit at 11, 13 or 17 inches high. This model, made of particle board and without dovetail joints, had been simplified from an earlier version to reduce manufacturing costs. —Christie’s

To Le Corbusier, houses were “machines for living in,” and he strove to make streamlined structures with function as their primary aim. Le Corbusier was among the first architects to champion textured concrete, as exemplified in his creation of the Unité d’habitation, a brutalist yet colorful residential housing structure in Nantes-Rezé. Le Corbusier believed that through design, he could create a utopia for the new age. In 1947 he received the opportunity to realize his vision of a modernist cosmopolitan center with the commission to design the entire city complex of Chandigarh, India. Le Corbusier worked with his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret on the creation and design of Chandigarh from 1947 until his death in 1965, and the city remains exemplary of Le Corbusier’s Utopian goals for architecture.—Wright

(Photo: Wright)