L – C 1954 : In 1923 our “Chemin Bergère” here was an almost deserted track, an old Roman road which linked the diocese of Sion with those of Lausanne and Geneva.
Twelve years, a hundred kilometres and a temperate climate lie between The “Maison Blanche” and the Villa “Le Lac”. The removal from La Chaux-de-Fonds to Corseaux was enlivened by a stay at the “Les Châbles” chalet above Vevey.
This small detached house, designed for Le Corbusier’s parents, was built in 1923-24 from plans drawn up by Le Corbusier and by his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret fully illustrate the ideas for which their authors were already renowned at that time. The Villa “Le Lac” foreshadows three of the “five points for a new architecture”: the use of the roof as a sun deck or garden, the open plan and the ribbon window. Truly a “machine for living”, it illustrates the concerns that Le Corbusier had expressed in his first works, and which had ensured the success of his villas built from the 1920s onwards.
The house, as it stands today, has remained quite true to the original plan. An upper annex was added on the northwest (1931), the north façades were surfaced with hot-dip galvanised steel sheets (1931), and the south face with aluminium sheets (1950). The wall that closes off the property on the north was not part of the original plan; it was added in 1931, when the new international road replaced the old “Chemin Bergère”.
Le Corbusier’s parents moved into the house in 1924. Georges Edouard Jeanneret, the architect’s father, only lived there for one year. On the other hand, his mother, Marie Charlotte Amélie Jeanneret-Perret, remained in the house through her 100th birthday; after her death in 1960, Albert Jeanneret (Le Corbusier’s brother) lived there by himself until 1973.
1923-1924 construction of the Villa “Le Lac”
1931 galvanised steel sheet cover the north and west facades, construction of the annex and north wall
1951 aluminium sheet cover the south facade
1962 the Villa “Le Lac”becomes a grade 1 listed building
1971 the Fondation Le Corbusier becomes the owner of the Villa
1984 the Villa opens to the public
2010 the Villa becomes a museum
2012 beginning of the restoration of the Villa
2013 the museum is run by the Association Villa “Le Lac” Le Corbusier
2016 listed as world heritage site by UNESCO