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Le Corbusier, 1887-1965

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Definition: Le Corbusier from

Philip's Encyclopedia

Swiss-born French architect (Charles Édouard Jeanneret). His early work exploited the qualities of reinforced concrete in cube-like forms. His Unité d'Habitation, Marseilles (1946-52), was a modular design widely adopted for mass housing. Later, he evolved a poetic style, of which the Chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Haut at Ronchamp (1955) is an example. In the 1950s, he laid out the town of Chandigarh, India, and built its Supreme Courts. His last major work was the Visual Arts Center at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1963). His book Towards a New Architecture (1923) is a key text of the international style.

Summary Article: Le Corbusier from Encyclopedia of Urban Studies
Le Corbusier was one of the most influential yet controversial architect-planners of the twentieth century, as well as being a prolific writer, painter, sculptor, and poet. He occupies a troubled place in architectural scholarship. Some cannot forgive him his arrogance and political opportunism. Others see a designer of genius and a polemically brilliant writer. Early Years Born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in Switzerland in 1887, he seemed destined for a career in watch-case engraving before developing an interest in architecture. The first house he built was the Villa Fallet (1907), which reflected his hometown vernacular with its steep roof and ornamented façade. Between 1908 and 1911, however, Jeanneret was apprenticed to Auguste Perret and Peter Behrens, early pioneers of reinforced concrete construction and industrial design. He traveled extensively around Europe and the near East, where the Hagia Sophia and Parthenon had a profound effect on him. It...    Continue Reading

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