The Maison Blanche Association: reviving a cultural landmark of national importance
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier, was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. At the age of 25, he distanced himself from the art nouveau movement and designed his first independent project, the Maison blanche – a villa and garden in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Initially, the Jeanneret family lived in the villa itself, and after them, the house was occupied by various owners until the end of the 20th century.
Maison blanche was added to the cantonal inventory of historic landmarks in 1979 as an example of the reform architecture of the early 20th century and a work that marked an important stage in Le Corbusier’s development. Some 15 years later, the confederation declared the restoration of the building’s exterior to be a matter of national interest. In the year 2000, the Maison Blanche Association was founded with the aim of transforming Le Corbusier’s first completely independent building into a place of reference for the architecture of the early 20th century. The association purchased the villa and its grounds, and in 2004 work began on the complete restoration of the Maison blanche. The restored house was reopened in 2005. Support from foundations, private donations and the public purse enabled a challenging project to be transformed into a reality.
Thanks to the commitment of the Maison Blanche Association, it was possible to breathe new life into this long-neglected building and secure its place as a key piece of architectural heritage for generations to come. Today, Le Corbusier’s early work is open to visitors and also regularly hosts concerts and other events in its inspiring rooms.