A little while ago, two Dutch friends suggested a visit to Le Corbusier’s cabanon, a log-sided cabin with a view of the Mediterranean in Roquebrune Cap Martin. I hadn’t heard of it before, and apparently it’s only mentioned as an aside in some travel guides. Yesterday was our visit date! It was worth the guided tour – we were shown not only the cabin, but the adjacent restaurant owned by Le Corbusier’s friend, Robert Rebutato, and the unité de camping bungalows that Le Corbusier also designed.
The cabin is quite small, at 3.66m x 3.66m x 2.66m – 14 square meters, or about 145 square feet. I found this floor plan in an aRoots article on Le Corbusier’s cabin, but it’s not credited. In any case it does reflect the cabin well enough, though it’s missing the small window in the back upper right corner. Le Corbusier wanted three of the windows to open onto different aspects of the cabin’s surroundings: the small one near the foot of the bed is about a meter from the floor, rectangular, and opens onto the rocks behind the cabin – l’aspect minéral. To the right, by the work area, is a square window with a folding painting and mirror cover, that opens onto a view of the agave tree outside – l’aspect végétal. Finally, the square window near the entry opens onto the Mediterranean – l’aspect aquatique.
There is a replica of the cabanon that tours different countries, with a video at that link (The Guardian) and some nice photos of it at IconEye. One detail that doesn’t come through in them, however, is how the main room is not truly broken up, not even by the sink column:
Le Corbusier used the basic principles of the cabin’s design when creating the smaller camping bungalows for the Rebutato family. Each bungalow measures 8 square meters, or about 80 square feet.
For more photographs: Roquebrune – Le Corbusier. Below, Le Corbusier’s “Modulor”, whose measurements he used in his designs. This one is painted on the north end of the bungalows.