ECAL x Cité Radieuse for Appartement 50
Thomas Elliott Burns and Katarzyna Kempa
In September of 2014, our class visited the Unité d’Habitation as a starter for the project. While there we drew on inspiration from the building and also from direct observation of the residents of Appt. 50.
This particular unit is a south facing, descendant appartement, which means you enter in the kitchen area and then descend to the rest of the rooms. During our visit to the apartment, both Kasia Kempa and I noticed the need for air circulation in the kitchen, which was hot and stuffy. Having worked together before on the Scott Bicycle project, we decided to team up again and develop a fan for this area.
Speaking with the residents we were given some pointers as to where they would like to put the fan and how best to circulate the air in that room. The placement dictated that the action part of the fan needed to sit above a back wall on the shelf where it would be placed, which meant it had to be a little tall.
Our fan went through several formal steps, and with each one we tried to refine the piece to best fit the intended space, but also to maximize the efficiency of the airflow and to retain personality.
For the final form we chose to use a I-Beam profile to raise the working parts. We felt that using a readily available industrial material with little frills would agree with Le Corbusier’s practicality.
The final piece is made from an aluminum body, with mechanical workings, plastic blades and grille. The knob to turn it on is on the same axis as the blades and is inspired by the knobs of the kitchen cabinets in the Appt. 50.