Pioneering housing scheme Le Lignon was built between 1963 and 1971 in a loop of the Rhône just outside town. It comprises two identical towers and one of the world’s longest residential blocks, which stretches of more than 1 km. Eschewing the usual orthogonal plan of most estates, architects Georges Addor, Dominique Julliard, Jacques Bolliger and Louis Payot created a zigzagging line of 84 narrow concrete and prefab sections, which cleverly allowed all the apartments to be double-oriented and full of light. Today the development houses more than 6,500 inhabitants and still has its own schools, shops, medical centre, cultural and sports facilities (including a rooftop pool). Still set among greenery and undergoing an eco upgrade, Le Lignon’s 1960s utopia remains gloriously intact.
© Claudio Merlini