Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse is an extensive apartment complex in Marseille, which was completed in the early 1950s.
Often described as a “vertical village,” it has 337 apartments, a restaurant, a hotel, a bookstore and a nursery school. France classified it as a historical monument in the 1980s. When the building’s rooftop gym and solarium went up for sale in 2010, the French designer Ora-Ito purchased it.
He has transformed the rooftop of Cité Radieuse into MAMO, short for MArseille MOdulor, a site for exhibitions and creative ateliers.
The overhaul was a three-year undertaking that involved a full restoration of the original rooftop structure which included the realization of design elements in Le Corbusier’s blueprints.
MAMO’s public inauguration last week is a feather in the cap for Marseille, which has been christened the 2013 European Capital of Culture. Ora-Ito’s friend and sometimes collaborator, the French artist Xavier Veilhan, has the first exhibition, a collection of large-scale sculptures created for the space. During warm weather, the rooftop will showcase rotating outdoor exhibitions of established artists’ work; in chillier seasons, MAMO will present smaller shows of up-and-coming artist in an indoor space.
“Le Corbusier would be proud,” Ora-Ito said. “It’s an homage to a master.”
Le MAMO: Marseille Modulor opens June 8 with the exhibition “Architectones” by Xavier Veilhan; 280 Boulevard Michelet, 13008 Marseille, France mamo.fr