“Gratte-Ciel” House

Le Corbusier architect
Pessac (33)


100 sqm
3/4 bedrooms
Land : 212 sqm
2 garages


A “Gratte-Ciel” house in the Cité Frugès

This “Gratte-Ciel” house is part of the famous “Quartiers Modernes Frugès” garden city in Pessac, built by Le Corbusier in 1926-1927. A veritable revolution in terms of both housing and architecture, this exceptional site is a remarkable testimony to France’s modern architectural heritage.

Set in 212 sqm of land, the house offers 100 sqm of living space divided between two flats:

The main 67 sqm flat occupies the first and second floors of the house.

The first floor comprises a kitchen and a living room, bathed in light thanks to their entablature windows that frame the vegetation. A central staircase with black metal banisters leads up to the second floor, which houses the sleeping area with two bedrooms and a study/dressing room that have retained their original parquet flooring, as well as a shower room. The flat is topped by a superb 27 sqm solarium roof terrace with panoramic views over the Bordeaux region.

On the ground floor, the second 33 sqm flat features a functional living space with lounge, dining room and kitchen opening onto a terrace and a private south-facing garden. The adjoining bedroom benefits from the same exposure. A shower room completes this level.

Each flat has its own 13 sqm garage.

Purchased in 2017, this listed house has undergone extensive renovation works. It is sold furnished and the two flats can be joined together. The ground floor flat is ideal for a professional, seasonal rental or as an outbuilding.

The house is located in the heart of the Cité Frugès, near the centre of Pessac, around 20 minutes from the centre of Bordeaux and 2 hours from Paris by train.

A Corbusian program

This iconic house is one of fifty-three built in the district using six distinct models: “Zig-zag”, “Quinconce”, “Jumelle”, “Gratte-ciel”, “Arcade”, “Vrinat” and “Isolée”. The “Gratte-Ciel” blocks are the tallest dwellings on the estate. Each is made up of two back-to-back dwellings, in this case two flats: the T2 on the ground floor and the T3 with its rooftop. The side elevations are alternately pale green and white, as are the main façades on the street, pure burnt sienna and white.

Each dwelling features several of the five points defined by Le Corbusier “pour une architecture nouvelle“: the free plan made possible by the use of reinforced concrete beams that allow spaces to be organised without any constructive constraints; the banded window that runs the length of the façade and allows a continuous relationship with the landscape; and the roof terrace that frees up extra space and allows a hanging garden to be created.

The “Quartiers modernes Frugès”

This architectural complex is the fruit of the meeting of two personalities: the person who commissioned the project, Henry Frugès, a sugar industrialist from Bordeaux, who was curious about all artistic and architectural innovations, and Le Corbusier, an avant-garde urban architect who had just published his book “Vers une architecture” in 1923.

Their exchanges and Le Corbusier’s adoption of functional principles and simple, uncluttered geometric forms gave rise to the Cité-jardin de Pessac and its fifty pavilions, built in 1926-1927. This was Henri Frugès’s most ambitious project, combining social progress and art for working-class housing.

New techniques and social concepts found their practical application here. Among the new features: cement cannon, hanging gardens, integrated garages and other cutting-edge conveniences such as shower rooms and showers, indoor toilets, cookers and boilers supplying hot running water. The houses were resolutely modern for their time.

Transformed by the residents to adapt to their way of life, the “Quartiers Modernes Frugès” is gradually regaining its original appearance thanks to simple architectural recommendations that ensure the preservation of the complex.

Le Corbusier: the Pope of modernity

Born in Switzerland in 1887 and died in 1965, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier, was an architect and town planner renowned for his ability to turn architecture into a total art. He thought about buildings and interior design in terms of both furnishings and comfort, and took the urban planning dimension into account in all his creations. He remains undeniably one of the most emblematic figures of the Modern Movement.

Throughout his career, Le Corbusier shared his visions and theories through his participation in international exhibitions such as 1925, where he presented the Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau, and 1937, with his Pavillon des Temps Nouveaux.

A great advocate of modernism, Le Corbusier’s architectural thinking is reflected in his villas, most notably the Villa Savoye in 1928, where he theorised the “five points of modern architecture” (pilotis, the flat roof, entablature windows, the free facade and the free plan).

Although he was one of the most prolific architects of his time, many of his projects never saw the light of day, such as the Plan Voisin and the contemporary city of three million inhabitants. Although sometimes too polemical or radical in the eyes of the general public, Le Corbusier’s work nonetheless had international resonance. His last major project was offered to him by the city of Chandigarh, India. He was commissioned to direct all the urban planning work for the creation of the new capital of Punjab, where he combined raw concrete with luxuriant vegetation.

Le Corbusier’s entire body of work achieved international recognition in 2016, when it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Technical info

Asking price: €553,000
Fees payable by the vendor

Council Tax 2022 : €2202
Full ownership
Electric heating



Estimated annual costs: between €1,511 and €2,043 per year, average energy prices indexed to 1 January 2021

Additional information

Prix de vente

553 000 €


Le Corbusier


Pessac (33)

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