Le Corbusier was a swiss Architect widely regarded as the pioneer of International Style. He was born on October 6, 1887, and named Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris. He later adopted the name Le Corbusier which was his mother’s maiden name because he formed a partnership with his cousin who was also called Jeanneret. Le Corbusier was a talented creator and other than being an architect, he was also a skilled urban planner, writer, painter, and designer. He died on August 27, 1965.
Le Corbusier never received any formal training in architecture. However, he studied art in his hometown of La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland. Furthermore, he taught himself by reading books on art and philosophy as well as being a regular museum visitor. He put his learning to practice by sketching and constructing as many buildings as he could. Finally, he went to Paris and apprenticed under architect Auguste Perret and later under Austrian Josef Hoffman
Writings And Philosophy Of Le Corbusier
The first work published by the architect was ‘Apres le Cubisme’ (After Cubism) in 1918 which he wrote together with French artist Amédée Ozenfant. The article argued for machine-driven purism in design. Following its publishing Le Corbusier created his famous ‘Polychromie Architecturale’ color charts.
He then wrote his most influential book ‘Vers une architecture’ [Towards a new Architecture] in 1923. In this book, he described his building manifesto which he named the 5 points of architecture. These 5 principles were that buildings should have pillars, an open floor plan, a vertical façade, long horizontal sliding windows and Roofs with gardens. The book also has his famous quote “The house is a machine for living in.”
His other writings include Urbanisme in 1925, Polychromie Architecturale in 1931 and 1959, La Maison des Hommes [The Home of Man] in 1942, Quand les cathédrales étaient blanches [When the Cathedrals Were White] in 1947 and Le Modulor I and II Theories in 1948 and 1955.
Designs By Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier’s built his first buildings, which he dubbed pure prisms, with white concrete and glass. In line with his designs he famously stated that by law all buildings should be white. Later his style developed into buildings with a solid and sturdy appearance that scholars classified as ‘new brutalism’. They were constructed with stone, concrete, stucco and glass. He built structures in many countries in Europe as well as Japan, India, and both North and South America.
He also designed very simple and functional furniture, transferring his architectural philosophy to furniture design.
Le Corbusier was also known for innovative urban planning and city planning. He provided solutions for low-income housing and envisioned comfortable dwellings for city residents. He also designed the plan for the city of Chandigarh in India as well as many of the government buildings there. Additionally, his ideas inspired the 17-story building ‘Unité d’Habitation’ or the “Radiant City,” in Marseilles, France. The building houses stores, meeting rooms, and homes for 1,600 people.