Unité d'habitation buildings were designed by French architect Le Corbusier. In 1920, Corbusier started to develop the type apartment which became very influential in 20th century modernism and contemporary residential design in Europe. During completion of the Marseille building a few model apartments were completed and furnished for visitors as an exhibition.
Inside, corridors run through the centre of the long axis of every third floor of the building, with each apartment lying on two levels, and stretching from one side of the building to the other, with a balcony. Unlike many of the inferior system-built blocks it inspired, which lack the original's generous proportions, communal facilities and parkland setting.
The flat roof is designed as a communal terrace with sculptural ventilation stacks, a running track, and a shallow paddling pool for children. There is also a children's art school in the atelier. The roof, where a number of theatrical performances have taken place, underwent renovation in 2010 and since 2013 it hosts an exhibition center called the MaMo. The roof has unobstructed views of the Mediterranean and Marseille.