Le Corbusier

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Le Corbusier

Architecture is the design of individual building and garden projects that make the realm of the voids visible, memorable and ultimately, useful. Crucial to the making of any city is the clear distinction of such projects by scale and character. Firstly, the definition of buildings and landscape that builds an urban collective form, a fabric. And secondly, civic and community buildings and gardens, physically distinguishable by their institutional purpose.

Architecture and Urbanism are bound into one another through the kinds of open space, buildings and landscape, the constituent parts that they hold in common. These are types of form as opposed to particular designs. Cities depend on the repetition of these types for the heterogeneity, the redundancy and the complexity of their structure.

Le Corbusier, the great Swiss Architect is often mistaken as being of French origin. In actuality, he was born in 1887 as Charles Edouard Jeanneret in La Chaux-de-fonds, a watch-making city in Switzerland. He left school at age 13 to learn the trade of engraving watch faces. Encouraged by a local art teacher he taught himself architecture, travelling throughout Europe to observe architectural styles. Settling in Paris in 1917, he met Ozenfant, who introduced him to Purism, and with whom he collaborated in writing several articles under his pseudonym (the name of a relative on his father's side). His main interest was large urban projects and city planning. Many of his designs were rejected, but they influenced other architects throughout the world. Examples of his work are the Unité d'habitation, Marseille (1945--50); Chandigarh, the new capital of the Punjab; the Swiss Dormitory in the Cité Universitaire in Paris; and the Exposition Pavilion in Zürich.

In 1920 he started publishing his magazine L'Esprit Nouveau, until his death in 1965. He inspired several generations of architects not only in Europe but also around the world. He was more than a mercurial innovator. Irascible, caustic, Calvinistic, Corbusier was modern architecture's conscience.

One of the most famous houses of the modern movement in architecture, the Villa Savoye is a masterpiece of Le Corbusier's purist design. It is perhaps the best example of Le Corbusier's goal to create a house which would be a "machine a habiter," a machine for living (in). Located in a suburb near P...

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... history makes a lot more sense than starting from zero. It has been an expensive lesson, and not one that Le Corbusier intended, but it too is part of his legacy.

He died in the Mediterranean in 1965.

The following are celebrated quotes form Le Corbusier: “Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.” (1)

“I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and allows less room for lies.” (2)

“The materials of city planning are: sky, space, trees, steel and cement; in that order and that hierarchy.” (3)

“Our own epoch is determining, day by day, its own style. Our eyes, unhappily, are unable yet to discern it.” (4)

“A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe.” (5)

Le Corbusier himself considered his creations in the domain of visual arts of primary importance and proclaimed that his architectural creations flowed from them. His noteworthy statement "there are no sculptors only, no painters only, no architects only, the plastic incident fulfills itself in an overall form in the service of poetry." explains his global commitment to the visual arts.

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