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Felice Varini Turns Le Corbusier's La Cité Radieuese Into a Giant Optical Illusion

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Very cool

Optical illusions have long played a role in the world of architecture: From trompe l’oeil paintings festooning neoclassical buildings’ interiors, to the mind-bending drawings of M.C. Escher and stucco plasterwork meant to look like marble or stone, designers the world over have often turned to sleight-of-hand.

Paris-based Swiss artist Felice Varini, known for transforming buildings and even cities into canvases for his geometric perspectival artworks, has turned his gimlet eye to Le Corbusier’s 1952 La Cité Radieuse Brutalist housing project in Marseille, France.

The roof at La Cité Radieuse became an outdoor art space—dubbed MAMO, or Marseille Modulor, Center—in 2013 and has since hosted a number of works by artists from across the globe. Now, Varini’s À Ciel Ouvert graces the space, which offers visitors a new perspective on one of Corbu’s greatest works of architecture.

Using red and yellow, Varini projects shapes and patterns on exterior and interior spaces at La Cité Radieuse, creating psychedelic works on the terrace and in some interiors there. The various shapes of the work—from rounded to angular to jagged—are meant to mimic the forms of Corbusier’s enigmatic architecture. Take a look.