Sunday, July 28, 2013

Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes

Chandigarh, India


GH and I took advantage of MoMA's early members-only viewing hours and enjoyed the le Corbusier exhibition in relative peace from 9:30 to 10:30. It is an inspiring show that covers his many areas of achievement: architecture, interior design, painting, urban planning, and photography. Radically he advocated demolishing a big area of central Paris in order to make way for workers' high-rises. In Chandigarh, he designed and built India's first post-independence city, with the largest of his Open Hand sculptures.

In architecture, he was the first to raise a building above the ground, supporting it on pilotis. He advocated for the use of raw concrete for its versatility and appearance. He designed curves inside rectangular walls. He flattened roofs for gardens, facilities and sculptural forms. After the show, GH wants to see his buildings in France during our coming trip, and so do I.


 the church of Notre-Dame-du-Haut, near Ronchamp, France.

The Five Points of the New Architecture, which Le Corbusier finally formulated in 1926, included (1) the pilotis elevating the mass off the ground, (2) the free plan, achieved through the separation of the load-bearing columns from the walls subdividing the space, (3) the free facade, the corollary of the free plan in the vertical plane, (4) the long horizontal sliding window, and, finally, (5) the roof garden, restoring, supposedly, the area of ground covered by the house. The Five Points are mostly clearly realized in the house Villa Savoye, in Poissy-sur-Seine, France.


Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, France

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