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Radiant City

Paris, France
Aerial view showing the proposed extent of the Radiant City
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Aerial view showing the proposed extent of the Radiant City
Der Stadtstreicher

The Ville Radieuse was an unrealised project to house three million inhabitants designed by the French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier in 1922. The centerpiece of Corbusier's utopian, urban plan was a group of sixty-story cruciform skyscrapers built on steel frames and encased in curtain walls of glass. The skyscrapers housed both offices and the flats of the most wealthy inhabitants. These skyscrapers were set within large, rectangular park-like green spaces.At the center of the planned city was a transportation hub which would house depots for buses and trains as well as highway intersections and at the top, an airport.

Le Corbusier segregated the pedestrian circulation paths from the roadways, and glorified the use of the automobile as a means of transportation. As one moved out from the central skyscrapers, smaller multi-story zigzag blocks set in green space and set far back from the street housed the proletarian workers. The principles of the Ville radieuse were incorporated into his later publication, the Athens Charter published in 1933. His utopian ideal formed the basis of a number of urban plans during the 1930s and 1940s culminating in the design and construction of the first Unité d'habitation in Marseille in 1952.