An 8 day pilgrimage to the most iconic works of pioneering Modernist architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in France. From Paris to Lyon, and from Marseille along the the Côte d’Azur, we will be traversing the length of the country by road and rail, exploring the grandeur, utopia and controversy of Le Corbusier’s sublime vision
Special Intro Departure : 5 to 12 September 2022
What we will see
Travelling from Paris to the south of France, we will experience no less than 14 of Le Corbusier’s major works, including sites as the Villa Savoye, the Couvent De La Tourette, the city centre of Firminy, the Cite Radieuse in Marseille, as well as his Le Cabanon retreat in the Mediterranean coast. The tour includes several guided tours led by local architecture and urban planning experts, offering us in-depth insight into the philosophy and concepts pioneered by the great Modernist architect, as well as his single-minded, perfectionist, and often controversial character.
Not least, the trip will be a memorable journey through one of the most beautiful and welcoming countries in Europe. There will be ample sights to behold beyond the architecture of Le Corbusier. There will be great food, fantastic nightlife and beautiful urban and coastal locations with ample time worked into the trip for you to explore each place we will be at ! Read on
Day 1 : Paris
Arrive at any time and check in at our hotel. You could take some time to explore the fabulous vibes of the Parisian capital. In the evening, we will gather together for our first meetup and group dinner.
Day 2 : Paris
After breakfast, we will visit two sites managed by Fondation Le Corbusier : Maison La Roche, a stunning 1925 house and Le Corbusier’s 1934 Apartement- Studio nearby, the site where the architect lived and worked for several years. A local expert will provide an in-depth introduction to the life and work of the great master.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Maison du Bresil and the Fondation Suisse, two buildings Le Corbusier built for the University of Paris.
The evening will be free. You can enjoy the Parisian nightlife, or take in the sights of the City of Light by night
Day 3 : Paris
In the morning, we will travel to the outskirts of Paris to visit the 1931 Villa Savoye, a glass and concrete marvel and one of the most important masterpieces of the Modernist Movement. An audio guide will be provided as we wander around the house and its gardens.
In the afternoon, we will be boarding the TGV to our next stop, the city of Lyon.
Day 4 : Lyon
In the morning, we will visit the extensive Le Corbusier site in Firminy, with its Cultural Centre, Stadium, Church and Housing Unit. We will spend several hours taking in this well-designed urban space. A local expert will provide context about its history.
In the afternoon, we will get the chance to explore the city of Lyon, possibly including a visit to Bernard Zehrfuss’ Brutalist Gallo-Roman Museum.
Day 5 : Lyon
In the morning, we will visit Couvent De La Tourette, Le Corbusier’s 1961 Dominican Priory outside Lyon. It is a Brutalist masterpiece of renown, and we will gain access via tour guided by a local expert.
We will then board the afternoon TGV to Marseille, where we will spend the night at the famous Cité Radieuse – a masterful high rise which became the global blueprint for mass housing during the post-war years.
Day 6 : Marseille
In the morning, we will explore the astonishing Unite D’Habitation, and became familiar with the history of the site as well as Le Corbusier’s concept of “the Radiant City”
In the afternoon, we will depart from Marseille and head for a memorable drive along the glamorous Cote’D Azur, including a stopover at fabulous Cannes, home to the international film festival. We will check in and overnight in Nice
Day 7 : Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
In the morning, we will visit Le Corbusier’s Le Cabanon, the humble holiday home he built for himself, as well as Eileen Gray’s adjacent villa E-1027. A local expert will explain the eccentricities, passions and acrimony among the eccentric artistic and architectural community which gathered there post-war. Our final stop will be the architect’s final resting place, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. In the afternoon, we will drive back to Marseille to board the overnight train to Paris
Day 8 : Paris
It will be farewells in the morning as each of us heads out to our next destination
Where will we stay ?
We will be residing in 2* or 3* accommodations, such as small boutique hotels or bed & breakfasts. We will spend the last overnight in shared cabins on the train from Marseille to Paris.
Perhaps the most memorable overnight will be at the famous Unite d’Habitation in Marseille, where we will be able to experience the amazing space as residents.
There is also possibility to overnight at Couvent De La Tourette outside Lyon, however this is subject to availability. Staying there may alter our schedule somewhat.
Where will we dine ?
French cuisine hardly needs an introduction.. we will wine and dine in a variety of bistros and local restaurants either on our own or as a group – however no lunches or dinners are not included in the cost of the trip at this stage. Breakfast, however, will be included in all spaces we will be staying at.
The price of the tour is £1299 per person sharing a twin room. The single person supplement is £300
The price includes :
- 8 days / 7 nights accommodation hotels (including breakfast & taxes)
- All scheduled public transport to and from all locations we will visit
- 2 days self-drive vehicle hire in the south of France and associated costs
- All entrance fees
- All expert guided tours
- An experienced, passionate, knowledgeable, tireless, and fun leader (that’s ME !!)
The price does not include
- Return flights or rail to Paris
- Airport or Station Transfers (can be arranged for a fee)
- Any meals and drinks (except as mentioned above)
- Any private or public transport which is not part of the itinerary
- Personal expenses such as additional services, shopping, gifts or souvenirs
We will travel as a small group of 7 persons max. The aim is to keep it small, and personalised.
The Grand Tour Le Corbusier will be available to book up to one week prior to departure. To declare your interest and book, I will require a 10% deposit. This will remain fully refundable until the closing date above, or in case the trip doesn’t eventually go ahead.
The remaining balance has to clear by one week prior to departure, so I can be able to guarantee the accommodation, transportation and dining for the group. I will regrettably not be able to refund your deposit within one week of departure.
Sometimes there are unexpected situations. It can happen to any of us, an emergency, or an unavoidable event. Instead of forfeiting your deposit entirely, and provided that there is a genuine reason for you to cancel at any point after a deadline, I would be happy to discuss with my suppliers about transferring the balance and reservations towards the next available tour date : I’ll be more than happy to host you at another, more convenient time !