Saint-Dié: The only factory designed and built to plans by Le Corbusier

In November 1944 the whole of the centre of Saint-Dié was dynamited and burnt to the ground by the retreating German troops; over 2000 buildings were destroyed. Any remaining walls and shells of building were demolished by the council. In 1945 Le Corbusier was appointed architect to redevelop both public and private buildings of the town. He put forward a radical plan which involved separation of roads and pedestrian areas; much of the accommodation for residents was to be in tower blocks (Machines à habiter). But the project was too revolutionary for both the town council and population (who would have had to give up their rights to the land they owned and individual properties) and was rejected in early 1946 in favour of a more traditional plan based on the old town centre layout. Le plan de reconstruction de Saint-Dié (1945)

Eventually the only industrial building ever completed by Le Corbusier, the Usine de Bonneterie Claude et Duval, was built in Saint-Dié during 1948-51. In July 2009 the factory was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Today it is still in use as a factory but the building is decaying probably due to poor post-war building materials and lack of maintenance.

If you click on Le Corbusier: Usine de Bonneterie Claude et Duval, Saint-Dié for the panorama

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