Le Corbusier’s Cats

The blue and white sign shines in the February sun, a far cry from the tangled thicket and peeling paint behind it. We arrived on bikes and were greeted by cats. Welcome to Le Rue Corbusier.

It was originally built as an idyll, a safe haven. A paragon of urban modernity – the house, a machine for living in. So went Le Corbusier’s theory, a French architect with impeccable taste in glasses who died in 1965.

Accordingly, his buildings triumphed clean lines, large windows and roof gardens above style and grandeur. Ordinarily, rococo flourishes and impractical balconies are enough to make my knees weak, but there is something altogether charming in the plain simplicity of these designs. Few of his buildings remain and one has to wonder what he’d think now that most of this block of streets in the Bordelaise suburbs has fallen into ruin.

But the cats didn’t seem to mind.

{Bordeaux, February 2014, where I spent last weekend eating crepes and cycling around town in gallic heaven.}