Call Le Corbusier by his first nameWhen it comes to Le Corbusier, we recall the five principles of the concrete. Today we'll talk about the Indian city of the Sun, Plan Voisin, purism and other pages of the architect's life to help you to keep a conversation going.
Le Corbusier is a pseudonym
Name of the architect is Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris. He was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, one of the Swiss capitals of a watch manufacturing industry. At school, he studied arts and crafts and at the age of 17 created the first building – the Villa Fallet, for the engraver.
The Dom-ino House and the principle of five
Dom-Ino is a significant step in the architecture, made in 1924. It is the first project of a frame type house for mass construction. No walls, no rooms, just a skeleton.
The box-like structure comprised of three rectangular floors with the upper two slabs supported by slender columns.
His project served as the prototype for the five points of architecture – the portrait of the ideal buildings by Le Corbusier. Concrete columns bear a building, walls migrate through space, and the floors differ with planning. Facade comes forward from the supporting structure. There are horizontal windows that cut a facade along its length, and of course roof gardens.
The illustrations of the principles are Villa La Roche and Villa Savoye.
A wife and a lover
Le Corbusier considered the architecture as a wife and the art as a lover. The drawing was a way to see the emergence of things. As they evolve, grow and experience a metamorphosis, blossom, bloom and die.
In 1920, Le Corbusier created the
avant-garde art journal "The new spirit" (L`Esprit Nouveau), which
criticized the architecture that does not meet the requirements of the time.
The edition published the texts that formed the basis of "Toward an
Fragments of the illustrated biography of Le Corbusier by French artist Vincent Mahe published. Telerama Journal, 2015
Together with an artist Amédée Ozanfan, Corbusier brought purism to the artistic world– an intellectual art that eliminates the randomness and uses the precise geometry of shapes.
The architect perceived decorations as something superficial, as a Thing that takes up space. Purism is a laconic reality, peeled off from decor and ornaments.
It was an unrealized plan for the modernization of Paris. Corbusier saw the city as the concentration of chaos, the unordered fragmented space. He proposed to demolish 240 hectares and break the clean area into squares with parks, highways, and parking lots. The centre of each quarter had to mark the 50-storey skyscraper.
The concept of "re-branding" failed. It was too expensive, too unconventional for the Parisian minds of that time. The conservatives criticized Corbusier for trying to destroy the past and disrespect the traditions.
Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.
The Indian city of the Sun
Chandigarh, the capital of the Indian states of Haryana and Punjab, was the architect’s most substantial project. He designed the city from scratch, from a grid of residential quarters and outlines of modernist buildings to the furniture for newly built houses.
FOR CITY PLANNING WERE USED sky, SPACE, STEEL, and CONCRETE IN THAT ORDER AND HIERECHY.
Chandigarh is the synthesis of the Eastern and Western thinking.
The sticking point in designing was the climate. Heatwaves are followed by heavy rains that can wash away the whole settlement. So most of the buildings are closed, but with flat roofs and terraces. They present a trademark of Corbusier – brise-soleils. These structures block high-angle summer sun while welcoming the low-angle winter sun.
Brutalism and Piet Mondrian
The Unite d'Habitation in Marseille is a city within a city. The house of the 337 apartments is spatially and functionally optimized for the residents.
The living space is divided into several levels connected by air streets. There are shops, medical facilities and a hotel inside the building. The roof is allotted for public space with a garden, a swimming pool and a gym. The only downside of this living space is its tiny apartments, which can be easily explained by the post-war shortage in homes.
Le Corbusier used the raw concrete technique (beton brut), the starting point of a new architectural style called brutalism.
To soften the exterior of a 12th-storey building, the walls were painted in loggias. The building resembles a painting of another modernist Piet Mondrian.
Ronchamp chapel and plasticity of forms
The construction borrowed a form from a seashell, but in spite of the external plasticity, it keeps a visual security. Rounded volumes are hidden under a heavy curved roof. Window slits of various shapes are scattered across the facade and form an unusual play of light on the inside.
Against the background of other austere buildings, this one appears like a ball thrown into a basket with cubes. Capella is different. Le Corbusier is different in it. It shifts from the functional modernism to plastics.
Materialized emptiness in Sainte Marie de La Tourette
The rectangle of rough grey concrete with a traditional cloister.
The ascetic convent is located on a hill and the sunlight can easily stream in through the concrete holes. Despite the fact that the architect tried to interact with the light as much as possible, the monks said that there were the places in the building that were penetrated by the sunlight only once a year.
After the construction the roof was paved with a thin layer of soil. The birds and the wind completed the composition.
Le Corbusier is a fashion legislator in architecture introduced a free planning and made a building to take off a hat and put on a roof terrace. His architecture speaks bold, experimental, vivid. It has no echos of the past eras and presents the perfect sum of innovations and simplicity.