Le Corbusier attended the laying of the foundation stone in 1965, shortly before his death. Construction was completed in 1967 under André Wogenscky’s supervision, in accordance with the architect’s plans.
The “Unité” in Firminy is an example of the “vertical garden city” concept: combining apartments and communal services within one same building. It originally had 414 apartments for a total of 1,800 people, as well as a nursery school and a terrace roof. Only four such other Unités designed by Le Corbusier were built, in Marseille, in Rezé (in the Loire-Atlantique area), Briey-en-Forêt (in the Meurthe-et-Moselle area) and in Berlin.
Nearly 1,000 people still live in this building, which is listed as a Historic Monument. The show apartment, nursery school and terrace roof can only be visited as part of a guided tour.
The Unité d’Habitation [housing complex, or literally, housing unit] is the last of a series designed by Le Corbusier. It was commissioned in 1959 by Eugène Claudius-Petit, but Le Corbusier did not live to see it completed.