Check out this video documenting graffiti artist Tilt‘s recent installation in a Marseilles hotel room. To find out more about the project, there’s a nifty Q & A with Tilt in the New York Times…. To Book a room, contact Au Vieux Panier. Tilt’s ‘Panic Room’ will set you back €135. If bubble letters give you nightmares why not spend the night in purgatory in the ‘Mass Confusion’ room instead? Nuff said, the video speaks for itself.
In retrospect Le Corbusier’s high-rise utopian experiments appear both frightening and quaintly naive. Poor imitations of this modernist style of housing development have been much maligned pretty much everywhere, but here in Marseille visitors can experience the ‘machine for living’ as it was intended in one of the world’s most unique hotels. Using a simple combination of elements and materials: space, air, light and concrete, Le Corbusier created a truly special atmosphere – why can’t they all be like this? While Le Corbusier hotel at Radiant City is located further from the waterfront (and restaurant action) than most of the city’s accommodation options, for architecture buffs this is the place to stay in Marseille.
Designed as a middle-class housing development La Cité Radieuse (Radiant City) houses around 1500 residents and features a shopping level (now reduced to a single bakery), hotel, kindergarten, church and outer-worldly roof top garden with wading pool. Compared with contemporary hotels amenities at Hotel Le Corbusier may appear basic: 800 thread-count Egyptian linens, flat screen TVs and attentive staff are conspicuous by their absence. But who cares when your room has a Picasso on the wall and a Le Corbusier chaise longue (LC04) for napping? Any minor gripes pale into insignificance – this is your chance to sleep with a design icon. (Personally, we prefer our 60 year-olds to have crowsfeet over botox anyday!)
In keeping with the design ethos, rates are reasonable and rooms accommodate a wide variety of needs and budgets. Our tip is to book a room with a sea view not too close to the restaurant – unless want to be woken by early breakfasters on the terrace.
If you do stay here make sure you take a tour of one of the apartments; some residents open their homes for visitors in exchange for a small fee. If you don’t, at least pop in for an apero on the terrace or dinner at the – restaurant, The Architect. Another advantage of staying here is its proximity to the calanques, a cab ride to the entry of the national park will cost about €20. Public buses and the metro system yes will take you into the city but factor in taxi fares to get you home after a night out. For bookings: Hotel Le Corbusier Rates: €65–€125
On Film: We also made a little film about our experience – you can see this little bit of fun. Apologies for the non-perfect sound, optomists that we are, we thought we could get away with not using a mike!