Le Corbusier
Overview
 
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier (lə kɔʁbyzje; October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-born French architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

, designer
Designer
A designer is a person who designs. More formally, a designer is an agent that "specifies the structural properties of a design object". In practice, anyone who creates tangible or intangible objects, such as consumer products, processes, laws, games and graphics, is referred to as a...

, urbanist, writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and painter
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

. He was born in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and became a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout central Europe, India, Russia, one in North and several in South America.

He was a pioneer in studies of modern high design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities.

Le Corbusier adopted his pseudonym in the 1920s, allegedly deriving it in part from the name of a distant ancestor, "Lecorbésier." However, it appears to have been an earlier (and somewhat unkind) nickname, which he simply decided to keep.

He was awarded the Frank P.
Quotations

The "styles" are a lie.

Vers une architecture (1923)

Une maison est une machine-à-habiter.

A house is a machine for living in.

You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say: "This is beautiful." That is Architecture. Art enters in.

It is a question of building which is at the root of the social unrest of today: architecture or revolution.

Vers une architecture (1923)

Modern life demands, and is waiting for, a new kind of plan, both for the house and the city.

Vers une architecture (1923)

The object of this edict is to enlighten the present and future citizens of Chandigarh about the basic concepts of planning of the city so that they become its guardians and save it from whims of individuals.

"The Edict of Chandigarh," plaque erected at Chandigarh|Chandigarh, India|India as an abbreviated form of the document The Establishment Statute of the Land (1959-12-17)

The city of Chandigarh is planned to human scale. It puts us in touch with the infinite cosmos and nature. It provides us with places and buildings for all human activities by which the citizens can live a full and harmonious life. Here the radiance of nature and heart are within our reach.

"The Edict of Chandigarh" from The Establishment Statute of the Land (1959-12-17)

Vehicular traffic is completely forbidden in the green strips, where tranquility shall reign and the curse of noise shall not penetrate.

"The Edict of Chandigarh" from The Establishment Statute of the Land (1959-12-17)

The age of personal statues is gone. No personal statues shall be erected in the city or parks of Chandigarh. The city is planned to breathe the new sublimated spirit of art. Commemoration of persons shall be confined to suitably placed bronze plaques.

"The Edict of Chandigarh" from The Establishment Statute of the Land (1959-12-17)

Encyclopedia
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier (lə kɔʁbyzje; October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-born French architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

, designer
Designer
A designer is a person who designs. More formally, a designer is an agent that "specifies the structural properties of a design object". In practice, anyone who creates tangible or intangible objects, such as consumer products, processes, laws, games and graphics, is referred to as a...

, urbanist, writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

 and painter
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

. He was born in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and became a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout central Europe, India, Russia, one in North and several in South America.

He was a pioneer in studies of modern high design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities.

Le Corbusier adopted his pseudonym in the 1920s, allegedly deriving it in part from the name of a distant ancestor, "Lecorbésier." However, it appears to have been an earlier (and somewhat unkind) nickname, which he simply decided to keep.

He was awarded the Frank P. Brown Medal in 1961.

Early life and education, 1887–1913

He was born as Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris in La Chaux-de-Fonds
La Chaux-de-Fonds
La Chaux-de-Fonds is a Swiss city of the district of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel. It is located in the Jura mountains at an altitude of 1000 m, a few kilometres from the French border. After Geneva and Lausanne, it is the third largest city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of...

, a small city in Neuchâtel canton
Canton of Neuchâtel
Neuchâtel is a canton of French speaking western Switzerland. In 2007, its population was 169,782 of which 39,654 were foreigners. The capital is Neuchâtel.-History:...

 in north-western Switzerland, in the Jura mountains
Jura mountains
The Jura Mountains are a small mountain range located north of the Alps, separating the Rhine and Rhone rivers and forming part of the watershed of each...

, just 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) across the border from France. He attended a kindergarten
Kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

 that used Fröbelian methods.

Young Jeanneret was attracted to the visual arts and studied at the La-Chaux-de-Fonds Art School under Charles L'Eplattenier, who had studied in Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 and Paris. His architecture teacher in the Art School was the architect René Chapallaz, who had a large influence on Le Corbusier's earliest houses.

In his early years he would frequently escape the somewhat provincial atmosphere of his hometown by traveling around Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. About 1907, he traveled to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, where he found work in the office of Auguste Perret
Auguste Perret
Auguste Perret was a French architect and a world leader and specialist in reinforced concrete construction. In 2005 his post-WWII reconstruction of Le Havre was declared by UNESCO one of the World Heritage Sites....

, the French pioneer of reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete is concrete in which reinforcement bars , reinforcement grids, plates or fibers have been incorporated to strengthen the concrete in tension. It was invented by French gardener Joseph Monier in 1849 and patented in 1867. The term Ferro Concrete refers only to concrete that is...

. In 1908, He studied architecture in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 with Josef Hoffmann
Josef Hoffmann
Josef Hoffmann was an Austrian architect and designer of consumer goods.- Biography :...

. Between October 1910 and March 1911, he worked near Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 for the renowned architect Peter Behrens
Peter Behrens
Peter Behrens was a German architect and designer. He was important for the modernist movement, as several of the movements leading names worked for him when they were young.-Biography:Behrens attended the Christianeum Hamburg from September 1877 until Easter 1882...

, where he might have met Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German architect. He is commonly referred to and addressed as Mies, his surname....

 and Walter Gropius
Walter Gropius
Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture....

. He became fluent in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

. Both of these experiences would prove influential in his later career.

Later in 1911, he journeyed to the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 and visited Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, filling sketchbooks with renderings of what he saw, including many famous sketches of the Parthenon
Parthenon
The Parthenon is a temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their virgin patron. Its construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although...

, whose forms he would later praise in his work Vers une architecture
Toward an Architecture
Vers une architecture, translated into English as Toward an Architecture and commonly known as Towards a New Architecture is a collection of essays written by Le Corbusier , advocating for and exploring the concept of modern architecture...

(1923) ("Towards an Architecture," but usually translated into English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as "Towards an Architecture").

Early career: the villas, 1914–1930

Le Corbusier taught at his old school in La-Chaux-de-Fonds during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, not returning to Paris until the war was over. During these four years in Switzerland, he worked on theoretical architectural studies using modern techniques. Among these was his project for the Domino House (1914–1915). This model proposed an open floor plan consisting of concrete slabs supported by a minimal number of thin, reinforced concrete columns around the edges, with a stairway providing access to each level on one side of the floor plan.

This design became the foundation for most of his architecture for the next ten years. Soon he would begin his own architectural practice with his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret
Pierre Jeanneret
Pierre Jeanneret was a Swiss architect who collaborated with his more famous brother Charles Edouard Jeanneret for about twenty years....

 (1896–1967), a partnership that would last until the 50s, with an interruption in the WWII years, due to Le Corbusier's ambivalent position towards the Vichy regime.

In 1918, Le Corbusier met the Cubist
Cubism
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture...

 painter Amédée Ozenfant
Amédée Ozenfant
Amédée Ozenfant was a French cubist painter.He was born into a bourgeois family in Saint-Quentin, Aisne and was educated at Dominican colleges in Saint-Sébastien...

, in whom he recognised a kindred spirit. Ozenfant encouraged him to paint, and the two began a period of collaboration. Rejecting Cubism as irrational and "romantic," the pair jointly published their manifesto, Après le cubisme and established a new artistic movement, Purism
Purism
Purism was a form of Cubism advocated by the French painter Amédée Ozenfant and the architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret . Purism rejected the decorative trend of cubism and advocated a return to clear, ordered forms that were expressive of the modern machine age as documented in their 1918 book...

. Ozenfant and Le Corbusier established the Purist journal L'Esprit nouveau. He was good friends with the Cubist artist Fernand Léger
Fernand Léger
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of Cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style...

.

Pseudonym adopted, 1920

In the first issue of the journal, in 1920, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret adopted Le Corbusier, an altered form of his maternal grandfather's name, "Lecorbésier", as a pseudonym
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

, reflecting his belief that anyone could reinvent themselves. Adopting a single name to identify oneself was in vogue by artists in many fields during that era, especially among those in Paris.

Between 1918 and 1922, Le Corbusier built nothing, concentrating his efforts on Purist theory and painting. In 1922, Le Corbusier and his cousin Jeanneret opened a studio in Paris at 35 rue de Sèvres.

His theoretical studies soon advanced into several different single-family house models. Among these was the Maison "Citrohan", a pun on the name of the French Citroën
Citroën
Citroën is a major French automobile manufacturer, part of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group.Founded in 1919 by French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën , Citroën was the first mass-production car company outside the USA and pioneered the modern concept of creating a sales and services network that...

 automaker, for the modern industrial methods and materials Le Corbusier advocated using for the house. Here, Le Corbusier proposed a three-floor structure, with a double-height living room, bedrooms on the second floor, and a kitchen on the third floor. The roof would be occupied by a sun terrace. On the exterior Le Corbusier installed a stairway to provide second-floor access from ground level. Here, as in other projects from this period, he also designed the façades to include large expanses of uninterrupted banks of windows. The house used a rectangular plan, with exterior walls that were not filled by windows, left as white, stuccoed spaces. Le Corbusier and Jeanneret left the interior aesthetically spare, with any movable furniture made of tubular metal frames. Light fixtures usually comprised single, bare bulbs. Interior walls also were left white. Between 1922 and 1927, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret designed many of these private houses for clients around Paris. In Boulogne-sur-Seine and the 16th arrondissement of Paris, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret designed and built the Villa Lipschitz
Jacques Lipchitz
Jacques Lipchitz was a Cubist sculptor.Jacques Lipchitz was born Chaim Jacob Lipchitz, son of a building contractor in Druskininkai, Lithuania, then within the Russian Empire...

, Maison Cook (see William Edwards Cook
William Edwards Cook
William Edwards Cook was an American-born expatriate artist, architectural patron, and long-time friend of American writer Gertrude Stein. Following his 1903 departure from the U.S., Cook resided in Paris, Rome, Russia, and on the island of Majorca, in the Balearic Islands off the eastern coast of...

), Maison Planeix, and the Maison La Roche/Albert Jeanneret, which now houses the Fondation Le Corbusier.

Personal relationships

While returning in 1929 from South America to Europe, Le Corbusier met entertainer and actress Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker was an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. She was given such nicknames as the "Bronze Venus", the "Black Pearl", and the "Créole Goddess"....

 on board the ocean liner Lutétia. Le Corbusier made several nude sketches of Baker. Soon after his return to France, Le Corbusier married Yvonne Gallis, a dressmaker and fashion model. She died in 1957. Le Corbusier also had a long extramarital affair with Swedish-American heiress Marguerite Tjader Harris.

Le Corbusier took French citizenship in 1930.

Forays into urbanism

For a number of years French officials had been unsuccessful in dealing with the squalor of the growing Parisian slums, and Le Corbusier sought efficient ways to house large numbers of people in response to the urban housing crisis. He believed that his new, modern architectural forms would provide a new organizational solution that would raise the quality of life for the lower classes. His Immeubles Villas (1922) was such a project that called for large blocks of cell-like individual apartments stacked one on top of the other, with plans that included a living room, bedrooms and kitchen, as well as a garden terrace.

Not merely content with designs for a few housing blocks, soon Le Corbusier moved into studies for entire cities. In 1922, he presented his scheme for a "Contemporary City" for three million inhabitants (Ville Contemporaine
Ville Contemporaine
The Ville Contemporaine was an unrealised project to house three million inhabitants designed by the French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier in 1922....

). The centerpiece of this plan was the group of sixty-story, cruciform skyscrapers; steel-framed office buildings encased in huge curtain walls of glass. These skyscrapers were set within large, rectangular park-like green spaces. At the center was a huge transportation hub, that on different levels included depots for buses and trains, as well as highway intersections, and at the top, an airport. He had the fanciful notion that commercial airliners would land between the huge skyscrapers. Le Corbusier segregated pedestrian circulation paths from the roadways and glorified the use of the automobile as a means of transportation. As one moved out from the central skyscrapers, smaller low-story, zigzag apartment blocks (set far back from the street amid green space), housed the inhabitants. Le Corbusier hoped that politically-minded industrialists in France would lead the way with their efficient Taylorist and Fordist strategies adopted from American industrial models to reorganize society. As Norma Evenson has put it, "the proposed city appeared to some an audacious and compelling vision of a brave new world, and to others a frigid megalomaniacally scaled negation of the familiar urban ambient."

In this new industrial spirit, Le Corbusier contributed to a new journal called L'Esprit Nouveau that advocated the use of modern industrial techniques and strategies to transform society into a more efficient environment with a higher standard of living on all socioeconomic levels. He forcefully argued that this transformation was necessary to avoid the spectre of revolution that would otherwise shake society. His dictum, "Architecture or Revolution," developed in his articles in this journal, became his rallying cry for the book Vers une architecture (Toward an Architecture, previously mistranslated into English as Towards an Architecture), which comprised selected articles he contributed to L'Esprit Nouveau between 1920 and 1923. In this book, Le Corbusier followed the influence of Walter Gropius
Walter Gropius
Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture....

 and reprinted several photographs of North American factories and grain elevators.

Theoretical urban schemes continued to occupy Le Corbusier. He exhibited his "Plan Voisin," sponsored by another famous automobile manufacturer, in 1925. In it, he proposed to bulldoze most of central Paris north of the Seine, and replace it with his sixty-story cruciform towers from the Contemporary City, placed in an orthogonal street grid and park-like green space. His scheme was met with criticism and scorn from French politicians and industrialists, although they were favorable to the ideas of Taylorism and Fordism underlying Le Corbusier designs. Nonetheless, it did provoke discussion concerning how to deal with the cramped, dirty conditions that enveloped much of the city.

In the 1930s, Le Corbusier expanded and reformulated his ideas on urbanism, eventually publishing them in La Ville radieuse (The Radiant City) of 1935. Perhaps the most significant difference between the Contemporary City and the Radiant City is that the latter abandons the class-based stratification of the former; housing is now assigned according to family size, not economic position. Some have read dark overtones into The Radiant City: from the "astonishingly beautiful assemblage of buildings" that was Stockholm, for example, Le Corbusier saw only “frightening chaos and saddening monotony.” He dreamed of "cleaning and purging" the city, bringing "a calm and powerful architecture"—referring to steel, plate glass, and reinforced concrete. Though Le Corbusier's designs for Stockholm did not succeed, later architects took his ideas and partly "destroyed" the city with them.

La Ville radieuse also marks Le Corbusier's increasing dissatisfaction with capitalism and his turn to the right-wing syndicalism
Syndicalism
Syndicalism is a type of economic system proposed as a replacement for capitalism and an alternative to state socialism, which uses federations of collectivised trade unions or industrial unions...

 of Hubert Lagardelle
Hubert Lagardelle
Hubert Lagardelle was a French syndicalist thinker, influenced by Proudhon and Georges Sorel. He gradually moved to the right and served as Minister of Labour in the Vichy regime under Pierre Laval from 1942 to 1943....

. During the Vichy
Vichy
Vichy is a commune in the department of Allier in Auvergne in central France. It belongs to the historic province of Bourbonnais.It is known as a spa and resort town and was the de facto capital of Vichy France during the World War II Nazi German occupation from 1940 to 1944.The town's inhabitants...

 regime, Le Corbusier received a position on a planning committee and made designs for Algiers and other cities. The central government ultimately rejected his plans, and after 1942 Le Corbusier withdrew from political activity.
After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Le Corbusier attempted to realize his urban planning schemes on a small scale by constructing a series of "unités" (the housing block unit of the Radiant City) around France. The most famous of these was the Unité d'Habitation
Unité d'Habitation
The Unité d'Habitation is the name of a modernist residential housing design principle developed by Le Corbusier, with the collaboration of painter-architect Nadir Afonso...

 of Marseilles (1946–1952). In the 1950s, a unique opportunity to translate the Radiant City on a grand scale presented itself in the construction of the Union Territory Chandigarh
Chandigarh
Chandigarh is a union territory of India that serves as the capital of two states, Haryana and Punjab. The name Chandigarh translates as "The Fort of Chandi". The name is from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu goddess Chandi, in the city...

, the new capital for the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana and the first planned city in India. Le Corbusier designed many administration buildings including a courthouse, parliament building and a university. He also designed the general layout of the city dividing it into sectors. Le Corbusier was brought on to develop the plan of Albert Mayer.

Death

Against his doctor's orders, on August 27, 1965, Le Corbusier went for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France between Monaco and Menton. The name was changed from Roquebrune to differentiate the town from Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the neighboring Var Department.-History:In pre-Roman times the area was settled by the...

, France. His body was found by bathers and he was pronounced dead at 11 a.m. It was assumed that he may have suffered a heart attack. His death rites took place at the courtyard of the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 Palace on September 1, 1965 under the direction of writer and thinker André Malraux
André Malraux
André Malraux DSO was a French adventurer, award-winning author, and statesman. Having traveled extensively in Indochina and China, Malraux was noted especially for his novel entitled La Condition Humaine , which won the Prix Goncourt...

, who was at the time France's Minister of Culture
Minister of culture
A culture minister is a Cabinet position in some governments responsible for protecting the national heritage of a country and promoting cultural expression....

. He was buried alongside his wife in the grave he had designated at Roquebrune
Roquebrune
Roquebrune may refer to the following communes in France:* Roquebrune, Gers, in the Gers département* Roquebrune, Gironde, in the Gironde département* Roquebrune, the former name for Roquebrune-Cap Martin, in the Alpes-Maritimes département...

.

Le Corbusier's death had a strong impact on the cultural and political world. Homages were paid worldwide and even some of Le Corbusier's worst artistic enemies, such as the painter Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

, recognised his importance (Dalí sent a floral tribute). The President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 said: "His influence was universal and his works are invested with a permanent quality possessed by those of very few artists in our history". The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 added, "Modern architecture has lost its greatest master". Japanese TV channels decided to broadcast, simultaneously to the ceremony, his Museum
The National Museum of Western Art
The is the premier public art gallery in Japan specializing in art from the Western tradition.The Museum is located in the museum and zoo complex in Ueno Park in Taito, central Tokyo. This popular Tokyo museum is also known by the English acronym NMWA .-NMWA history:The NMWA was established on...

 in Tokyo, in what was at the time a unique media homage.

Visitors may find his grave site in the cemetery above Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in between Menton and Monaco in southern France.

The Fondation Le Corbusier (or FLC) functions as his official Estate. The U.S. copyright representative for the Fondation Le Corbusier is the Artists Rights Society
Artists Rights Society
Artists Rights Society is a copyright, licensing, and monitoring organization for visual artists in the United States. Founded in 1987, ARS represents the intellectual property rights interests of over 50,000 visual artists and estates of visual artists from around the world .- Member Artists &...

.

Five points of architecture

It was Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye
Villa Savoye
Villa Savoye is a modernist villa in Poissy, in the outskirts of Paris, France. It was designed by Swiss architects Le Corbusier and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, and built between 1928 and 1931....

 (1929–1931) that most succinctly summed up his five points of architecture that he had elucidated in the journal L'Esprit Nouveau and his book Vers une architecture
Toward an Architecture
Vers une architecture, translated into English as Toward an Architecture and commonly known as Towards a New Architecture is a collection of essays written by Le Corbusier , advocating for and exploring the concept of modern architecture...

, which he had been developing throughout the 1920s. First, Le Corbusier lifted the bulk of the structure off the ground, supporting it by piloti
Piloti
Pilotis, or piers, are supports such as columns, pillars, or stilts that lift a building above ground or water. They are traditionally found in stilt and pole dwellings such as fishermen's huts in Asia and Scandinavia using wood and in elevated houses such as Old Queenslanders in Australia's...

s
– reinforced concrete stilts. These pilotis, in providing the structural support for the house, allowed him to elucidate his next two points: a free façade
Facade
A facade or façade is generally one exterior side of a building, usually, but not always, the front. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face"....

, meaning non-supporting walls that could be designed as the architect wished, and an open floor plan, meaning that the floor space was free to be configured into rooms without concern for supporting walls. The second floor of the Villa Savoye includes long strips of ribbon windows that allow unencumbered views of the large surrounding yard, and which constitute the fourth point of his system. The fifth point was the roof garden
Roof garden
A roof garden is any garden on the roof of a building. Besides the decorative benefit, roof plantings may provide food, temperature control, hydrological benefits, architectural enhancement, habitats or corridors for wildlife, and recreational opportunities....

 to compensate for the green area consumed by the building and replacing it on the roof. A ramp rising from ground level to the third floor roof terrace allows for an architectural promenade through the structure. The white tubular railing recalls the industrial "ocean-liner" aesthetic that Le Corbusier much admired. As if to put an exclamation mark after Le Corbusier's homage to modern industry, the driveway around the ground floor, with its semicircular path, measures the exact turning radius of a 1927 Citroën
Citroën
Citroën is a major French automobile manufacturer, part of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group.Founded in 1919 by French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën , Citroën was the first mass-production car company outside the USA and pioneered the modern concept of creating a sales and services network that...

 automobile.

The Modulor

Le Corbusier explicitly used the golden ratio
Golden ratio
In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.61803398874989...

 in his Modulor
Modulor
The Modulor is an anthropometric scale of proportions devised by the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier .It was developed as a visual bridge between two incompatible scales, the Imperial system and the Metric system...

 system for the scale
Scale (ratio)
The scale ratio of some sort of model which represents an original proportionally is the ratio of a linear dimension of the model to the same dimension of the original. Examples include a 3-dimensional scale model of a building or the scale drawings of the elevations or plans of a building. In such...

 of architectural proportion
Proportion (architecture)
Proportion is the relation between elements and a whole.-Architectural proportions:In architecture the whole is not just a building but the set and setting of the site. The things that make a building and its site "well shaped" include the orientation of the site and the buildings on it to the...

. He saw this system as a continuation of the long tradition of Vitruvius
Vitruvius
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman writer, architect and engineer, active in the 1st century BC. He is best known as the author of the multi-volume work De Architectura ....

, Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

's "Vitruvian Man
Vitruvian Man
The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487. It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the famed architect, Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and...

", the work of Leon Battista Alberti, and others who used the proportions of the human body to improve the appearance and function of architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

. In addition to the golden ratio
Golden ratio
In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.61803398874989...

, Le Corbusier based the system on human measurements
Anthropometry
Anthropometry refers to the measurement of the human individual...

, Fibonacci number
Fibonacci number
In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are the numbers in the following integer sequence:0,\;1,\;1,\;2,\;3,\;5,\;8,\;13,\;21,\;34,\;55,\;89,\;144,\; \ldots\; ....

s, and the double unit.

He took Leonardo's suggestion of the golden ratio in human proportions to an extreme: he sectioned his model human body's height at the navel with the two sections in golden ratio, then subdivided those sections in golden ratio at the knees and throat; he used these golden ratio proportions in the Modulor
Modulor
The Modulor is an anthropometric scale of proportions devised by the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier .It was developed as a visual bridge between two incompatible scales, the Imperial system and the Metric system...

 system.

Le Corbusier's 1927 Villa Stein in Garches
Garches
Garches is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris.Garches has remained largely residential, but is also the location of the Hôpital Raymond Poincaré , which specialises in traumatology, road accidents and physiotherapy.-19 January Monument:The...

 exemplified the Modulor system's application. The villa's rectangular ground plan, elevation, and inner structure closely approximate golden rectangles.

Le Corbusier placed systems of harmony and proportion at the centre of his design philosophy, and his faith in the mathematical order of the universe was closely bound to the golden section and the Fibonacci series, which he described as "rhythms apparent to the eye and clear in their relations with one another. And these rhythms are at the very root of human activities. They resound in Man by an organic inevitability, the same fine inevitability which causes the tracing out of the Golden Section by children, old men, savages, and the learned."

The Open Hand

The Open Hand (La Main Ouverte) is a recurring motif in Le Corbusier's architecture, a sign for him of "peace and reconciliation. It is open to give and open to receive." The largest of the many Open Hand sculptures that Le Corbusier created is a 28 meter high version in Chandigarh, India.

Furniture

Corbusier said: "Chairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois."

Le Corbusier began experimenting with furniture design in 1928 after inviting the architect, Charlotte Perriand
Charlotte Perriand
Charlotte Perriand , was a French architect and designer. Her work aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society...

, to join his studio. His cousin, Pierre Jeanneret
Pierre Jeanneret
Pierre Jeanneret was a Swiss architect who collaborated with his more famous brother Charles Edouard Jeanneret for about twenty years....

, also collaborated on many of the designs. Before the arrival of Perriand, Le Corbusier relied on ready-made furniture to furnish his projects, such as the simple pieces manufactured by Thonet, the company that manufactured his designs in the 1930s.

In 1928, Le Corbusier and Perriand began to put the expectations for furniture Le Corbusier outlined in his 1925 book L'Art Décoratif d'aujourd'hui into practice. In the book he defined three different furniture types: type-needs, type-furniture, and human-limb objects. He defined human-limb objects as: "Extensions of our limbs and adapted to human functions that are type-needs and type-functions, therefore type-objects and type-furniture. The human-limb object is a docile servant. A good servant is discreet and self-effacing in order to leave his master free. Certainly, works of art are tools, beautiful tools. And long live the good taste manifested by choice, subtlety, proportion, and harmony".

The first results of the collaboration were three chrome-plated tubular steel chairs designed for two of his projects, The Maison la Roche in Paris and a pavilion for Barbara and Henry Church. The line of furniture was expanded for Le Corbusier's 1929 Salon d'Automne
Salon d'Automne
In 1903, the first Salon d'Automne was organized by Georges Rouault, André Derain, Henri Matisse, Angele Delasalle and Albert Marquet as a reaction to the conservative policies of the official Paris Salon...

 installation, Equipment for the Home.

The most famous of these chairs are the now-iconic LC-1, LC-2, LC-3, and LC-4, originally titled "Basculant" (LC-1), "Fauteuil grand confort, petit modèle" (LC-2, "great comfort sofa, small model"), "Fauteil grand confort, grand modèle" (LC-3, "great comfort sofa, large model"), and "Chaise longue" (LC-4, "Long chair", English: "chaise lounge"). The LC-2 and LC-3 are more colloquially referred to as the and (abbreviation of full title, and due to respective sizes). The LC-2 (and similar LC-3) have been featured in a variety of media, notably the Maxell
Maxell
, commonly known as Maxell, is a Japanese company which manufactures consumer electronics. The company's notable products are batteries -- the company's name is a contraction of "maximum capacity dry cell" -- and recording media, including audio cassettes and blank VHS tapes, and recordable optical...

 "blown away" advertisement.

In the year 1964, while Le Corbusier was still alive, Cassina S.p.A.
Cassina S.p.A.
Cassina S.p. A. is an Italian manufacturing company specialised in the creation of high-end designer furniture.-Origins:The "Amedeo Cassina" company was created by the brothers Cesare and Umberto Cassina in 1927 in Meda, Brianza,...

 of Milan acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture his furniture designs. Today many copies exist, but Cassina is still the only manufacturer authorized by the Fondation Le Corbusier; see US page.

Politics

In the 1930s, Le Corbusier associated with Georges Valois
Georges Valois
Georges Valois was a French journalist and politician.-Life and career:Born in a working-class and peasant family, Georges Valois went to Singapore at the age of 17, returning to Paris in 1898. In his early years he was an Anarcho-syndicalist...

 and Hubert Lagardelle
Hubert Lagardelle
Hubert Lagardelle was a French syndicalist thinker, influenced by Proudhon and Georges Sorel. He gradually moved to the right and served as Minister of Labour in the Vichy regime under Pierre Laval from 1942 to 1943....

 and briefly edited the syndicalist journal Prélude. In 1934, he lectured in Rome on architecture, by invitation of Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

. He sought out a position in urban planning in the Vichy
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 regime and received an appointment on a committee studying urbanism. He drew up plans for the redesign of Algiers in which he criticized the perceived differences in living standards between Europeans and Africans in the city, describing a situation in which "the civilised live like rats in holes" yet "the barbarians live in solitude, in well-being." These and plans for the redesign of other cities were ultimately ignored. After this defeat, Le Corbusier largely eschewed politics.

Although the politics of Lagardelle and Valois included elements of fascism, anti-semitism, and ultra-nationalism, Le Corbusier's own affiliation with these movements remains uncertain. In La Ville radieuse, he conceives an essentially apolitical society, in which the bureaucracy of economic administration effectively replaces the state.

Le Corbusier was heavily indebted to the thought of the nineteenth-century French utopians Saint-Simon
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, often referred to as Henri de Saint-Simon was a French early socialist theorist whose thought influenced the foundations of various 19th century philosophies; perhaps most notably Marxism, positivism and the discipline of sociology...

 and Charles Fourier
Charles Fourier
François Marie Charles Fourier was a French philosopher. An influential thinker, some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become main currents in modern society...

. There is a noteworthy resemblance between the concept of the unité and Fourier's phalanstery. From Fourier, Le Corbusier adopted at least in part his notion of administrative, rather than political, government.

Criticisms

Since his death, Le Corbusier's contribution has been hotly contested, as the architecture values
Architectural design values
Architectural design values make up an important part of what influences an architect and designer when they make their design decisions. However, architects and designers are not always influenced by the same values and intentions. Value and intentions differ between different architectural...

and its accompanying aspects within modern architecture vary, both between different schools of thought and among practising architects. At the level of building, his later works expressed a complex understanding of modernity's impact, yet his urban designs have drawn scorn from critics.
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