HOT PROPERTY

Hotel Le Corbusier

When Alban and Dominique Gerardin bought Marseille's Hotel Le Corbusier two years ago, the couple wanted to recapture the architect's original vision for the landmark building: a space that's both functional and livable. Known as La Cité Radieuse, the 1952 concrete structure was designed to look like a ship. The hotel comprises two floors in the building, which also includes shops, offices, and apartments housing around 1,500 residents.

Alban, a management consultant, and Dominique, a former lawyer, had their work cut out for them. They scoured French flea markets for inspiration, picking up '50s pieces by Charlotte Perriand; they installed La Roche lamps, the light fixtures Corbusier originally designed for the building; and they added Corbusier-designed chaise lounges and armchairs to the reception area and rooms.

The redone spaces range from narrow 175-square-foot cabin rooms ($66) to 345-square-foot studios (bottom, $114), which also have terraces. One thing the studios don't have is bathroom doors: The architect considered them an aesthetic distraction. "Le Corbusier thought the real luxuries were light, serenity, and health," says Dominique. "Not clutter." All guests have access to a jogging track and wading pool on the roof. 280 blvd.Michelet, 011-33/4-91-16-78-00, hotellecorbusier.com.

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