Derived from the prototype of Villas-apartment-block, the prototype of the prefabricated selected modern housing.
The program called for a building housing 45 apartments with double floor heights and a large variety of dimensions and interior furnishings. The building is, nevertheless, constructed entirely of standard elements, upon a frame of standard steel sections electrically welded and conforming to a strict module of columns, beams and windows. This standard, pushed to the absolute, did not limit in the slightest the search for variety in the interior of the building.
The "Clarté" building is the product of long preparatory studies started already in 1928 with the purpose of furnishing plans for typical rental buildings. This building is the realization of M. Edmond Wanner, a Geneva industrialist, who was himself the contractor. "Clarté" offers a demonstration of a modern apartment building and well merits being followed by further new realizations.
But... the banks always keep an eye on the status quo; although the building was rented immediately and the tenants themselves declared that they were delighted, the bank poses this absurd question: "Yes, but... in 20 years will the tenants still be pleased with it?" The bank seems to think that banal methods are dedicated to posterity, while all that which is of a progressive and large breadth of scope is destined for certain death.
[Extract from Le Corbusier, Oeuvre complète, volume 2, 1929-1934]