Le Corbusier (04:06)
Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French artist, painter, architect, and writer. He became an architect at the age of 17, and educated himself in art and architecture by traveling around Europe.
La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, 1911 (03:55)
After months of travel, Le Corbusier returned to Switzerland where he wrote of the Swiss neutrality in World War I and his desire to create havens for refugees fleeing Belgium. He moved to Paris where he found inspiration in cubist painter, Amédée Ozenfant.
Paris, 1918 (02:20)
Le Corbusier considered himself “a slave” to visual arts, bringing an angular style of composition into his art. He made a name for himself when he published articles on architecture in the magazine L'Esprit Nouveau.
Free Plan Architecture (03:40)
Le Corbusier regarded his architectural essays to be "reminders" to those in the profession, who received mixed reviews. His work is credited to the 20th century development of the modern architecture movement.
Mechanization and Economic Housing (02:05)
Le Corbusier felt that mechanization and standardization are processes that allow houses to become "true machines for living." Houses should be designed, erected, and resided within in series.
Le Corbusier's Nationality (03:00)
In fear of being expelled from France, Le Corbusier resolved to settle issues surrounding his nationality. He sailed to Rio de Janeiro to attend a series of conferences; the people and way of life in Brazil left a strong impression.
Paris Architecture, 1928 (04:00)
Corbusier created a plan in Paris to construct modern skyscrapers. They would allow freer movements on the street below and remedy the existing “Dantesque” energy. He brought organization, structure, and harmony together to create a harmonious, unified effect— “The Radiant City.”
Tsentrosoyuz and Cité de Refuge (02:10)
In 1933, Le Corbusier erected the Tsentrosoyuz building in Moscow. He felt Moscow needed reinvention. In the same year, the Cité de Refuge, a dormitory for the homeless, was erected in Paris. It was Le Corbusier's first construction of a unit to house the urban poor.
International Congresses of Modern Architecture (02:00)
After attending a two week architectural conference in Athens, Le Corbusier deduced that he would play a large role in the architectural revolution. His Radiant City designs were widely received by urban planners from 18 nations.
New York Architecture (03:55)
Le Corbusier attempted to influence New York public housing officials to follow his designs, fearing that capitalism was destroying architecture and that America could miss its potential to pioneer modern architecture. He deplored of Germany's service to Hitler.
France, 1940 (04:00)
Despite political unrest, Le Corbusier resolved to remain an architect and town planner. He opines that France's defeat in the war preserved the goodness of the country, and was really a victory.
Marseilles Apartments (03:40)
After ceasing construction for four years, Le Corbusier was encouraged to build a large residential space in Marseilles, France. It became the first and most famous of his Unité d'habitation structures.
Housing Unit in Marseilles (02:00)
Le Corbusier's Marseilles apartments first received critique that the apartments would create slums. Later, the apartments were accused of being for millionaires. Featuring communal infant schools, shopping centers, and gyms, Le Corbusier felt "a slice of happiness" emanating from the project.
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, 1951 (03:20)
Le Corbusier erected a cabin on the coast of southeast France for his personal use. He wanted to create a silent, sacred space.
Chandigarh, India, 1953 (03:10)
Le Corbusier landed a government contract to rebuild the capital in Punjab after the division of India and Pakistan. He felt that the people of India had retained simplicity, happiness, and a poetry that Europeans had sacrificed.
Open Hands of Optimism (04:00)
Observe footage of Le Corbusier's installation at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958, a partnership with French-born composer Edgard Varèse. In old age, Le Corbusier wrote about giving, receiving, the sublime, and the possibility for harmony in future generations.
Credits: Le Corbusier's Century (00:44)
Credits: Le Corbusier's Century
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