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Le Corbusier’s Interwar Housing Architecture Essay

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The time between World Wars was a tense and significant point in the history of humanity, especially for the European continent. France had suffered immensely during the First World War, and the psyche of the nation was deeply shaken. The result was, for some, a desire for a return to the comparatively peaceful state felt prior to the War. The “Call to Order” as it became known embodied this effort. Many artistic movements were abandoned, temporarily or permanently. Such was the fate of the Futurist movement, which somewhat naively glorified all of the things that had made World War I so incredibly destructive to the continent, technology, and violence. A resurgence of classical styled art followed. Just as the populous sought clearly defined order and purity in their lives so too did the search for pure forms of artistic expression arise. Amedee Ozenfant and Charles-Eduoard Jeanneret led the Purist movement, eschewing the decorative qualities of Cubism and focusing on the precise and orderly expression of form they sought to return order to the arts. Jeanneret, who would later become Le Corbuiser took these methods and theories to work in architecture, seeking to literally rebuild the cities in a pure and orderly way. Corbusier’s architectural work during the interwar period would become the foundation for much of modern architectural thinking, his methods and beliefs set the stage for much of the works being built in our current day and age. Though his hopes of seeing a more orderly physical manifestation of society never did occur to the extent he desired, the impact he had on the discipline of architecture is tremendous.
Key to many of Corbusier’s design principles was the notion of purity. Purism as the artist...


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Works Cited

Batchelor, David, Briony Fer, Paul Wood. Realism, Rationalism, Surrealism: Art
Between the Wars. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1993.

Baltanás, José. Walking through Le Corbusier. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2006.

Benton, Tim. The Villas of Le Corbusier 1920-1930. New Haven, London: Yale
University Press, 1987.

Boesiger, Willy. Le Corbusier. Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili, 1991.

Corbusier, Le. Towards A New Architecture. Translated by Frederick Etchells. New
York: Dover Publications, inc, 1986.

Gans, Deborah. The Le Corbusier Guide. New York: Princeton Architectural Press,
2000.

Le Corbusier: Villa Savoye. VHS. Tim Benton. 2000. New York: Insight Media, 2000.
VHS Film.

Weddle, Robert. Housing and Technological Reform in Interwar France: The Case of
Cite de la Muette. Journal of Architectural Education, 54:3, 167-175. Online.



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