Villa Graffarta Savoye

Corbusier's Villa Savoye in sad shape before recent renovation.

Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in sad shape before recent renovation.

Without intending to pick on Le Corbusier (not that there’s anything wrong with that), artist Xavier Delory recently found the Villa Savoye in sad condition, even worse than in the photograph above, taken before his masterpiece in suburban Paris was given a spiffing up. Click and enjoy.

I have found, at least in Providence, that graffiti “artists” – or graffartists, as I like to call them, emphasizing the middle syllable – tend to avoid defacing traditional buildings. This may arise not from their respect for the venerable but from the cleaner, broader canvases offered by modernist buildings.

Thanks to Calder Loth for sending link to TradArch. Note the link to Delory’s “Fictional Buildings” toward the bottom of the linked post.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Humor, Preservation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Villa Graffarta Savoye

  1. Joel VanderWeele says:

    Here’s a google streetview image of Antwerp that pretty effectively captures the point:

    Those balusters are awfully hard to tag…


  2. Richard Ventrone says:


    The graffiti images were created with Photoshop. It is alive and well as a museum.


    • Lewis Dana says:

      Begging, as usual, to differ on points fine and broad, I’d say that Graffitisti (at least the lower sorts) are indiscriminate in their choice of canvas. Our 1882 building in the Jewelery District needs regular visits from the Mayor’s Graffiti Squad. It’s a destructive game of “tag,” the removal of which causes severe damage to 140-year old brick.

      But you’re right. Skilled practitioners (and lousy ones, too) like the broad sweep of walls unadorned by pilasters, corbels, Palladian windows, dentil moldings and all the other things so dear to your heart.


    • Yes, Richard. I did not want to ruin the frisson for readers pressing the link. The post is tagged “Humor,” just in case someone accuses me of being ignorant of the applique’d nature of the photographs! Although one could plausibly place anything about Corbu under the humor tag, if his legacy weren’t so tragic.


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