The housing unit project, also called Cité Radieuse, is part of a broader project of a new neighborhood in the heart of the forest, in the Lorraine coalfield. The goal is to house the population then in full increase in connection with the expansion of iron mines and the steel industry.
In 1955, Le Corbusier was named chief architect of the project and André Wogenscky architect of operation. It is the office HLM which is the public contracting authority. The model is that of the Cité Radieuse of Rezé, resumed almost identically with some nuances: housing is smaller and there is no equipment on the roof or commercial street.
The Briey unit comprises 339 dwellings in 11 variants. These homes are almost all duplex, are served by 6 “inner streets”.
The first tenants arrived in 1961, but following the closure of the Briey mines and the economic recession, the building was gradually emptying. In addition, defects are revealed and the building is deteriorating, its tenants experiencing serious financial difficulties. In 1973, the last tenants are evacuated from the unit which remained very isolated from the rest of the municipality.
Saved in the late 1980s thanks to the efforts of the municipality of Briey and the state, it is fully inhabited in the form of a condominium, it has found today its meaning. Since 1993, the housing unit has been registered as a historic monument. The facades and roofs and its portico are also listed as historic monuments since July 16, 2007. The site bears the label “Heritage of the twentieth century”.