Where does architecture and the automobile industry meet? Many architects, including Le Corbusier, have tried to understand how building construction can be more like car manufacturing, with mass-produced parts that can be easily assembled on site. Ford recently explored the idea at their Design with a Purpose: Built Tough panel discussion held at New York’s Center for Architecture. Click here to read The New York Times‘ coverage of the discussion, and check out ArchDaily editor-in-chief’s thoughts on cars and architecture here.
Since the dawn of the modern era, there has been a strong relationship between architecture and the car, especially in the works of Le Corbusier.
Le Corbusier was fascinated by his car (the Voisin C7 Lumineuse); the aesthetics of this functional, mass produced machine deeply influenced his designs. Its focus on function translated into his concept that houses should be “machines for living” and inspired a series of experiments of mass produced, pre-fab houses (such as the Maison Citrohan). Most of these concepts were later materialized in the iconic Villa Savoye, whose floorplan was even designed to accommodate the car’s turning radius.
LEGO® has officially announced the next addition to their architecture-inspired products: The United Nations Headquarters. Standing alongside New York City’s East River, the United Nations Headquarters is a beacon of modernism and international collaboration, designed by a team of multinational architects including Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. Scaling 5 inches high x 8 inches wide x 6 inches deep, this representation of the UN Headquarters costs $49.99.
Check out more about the building and its history here.
Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (1887-1965), better known as Le Corbusier, would have turned 126 today.
The Swiss-born architect, urban planner, designer, painter and writer is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the modernist movement in architecture. Over the course of his five-decade career, he saw work built across Europe, India, and the United States.
32BNY in collaboration with Spirit of Space has released its fifth videopolemic, entitled Firminy: José Oubrerie. In this video José Oubrerie, a French architect and protégé of Le Corbusier, currently teaching at the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University, remembers his time working for Corbu, working on the Church in Firminy.
32BNY was launched in February 2013 as a website dedicated to the potential of cinematic architectural discourse. Previous videopolemics included Steven Holl and Sanford Kwinter on Lebbeus Woods, Vito Acconci on Art and Architecture, Drawing as Thought, and Existential Sensitivity: Jeffrey Kipnis and Steven Holl. Although 32BNY admit they do not know what the terms ‘cinematic architectural discourse’, or ‘videopolemic’ mean, they are undeterred from their exploration. You can find out more about them and their work on their website.
Dutch designers, Rem Koolhaas and Hella Jongerius, have revamped the delegates’ lounge in the United Nations building just in time for the 68th General Assembly this week. The “workshop of peace” lounge space, originally designed in 1952 by Wallace K. Harrison in collaboration with renowned modernists Le Corbusier and Oscar Neimeyer, now sports a range of pastel-colored sofas and lounge chairs, opting for minimal intervention in attempts to maximize the social space. Read more about the UN North Delegates lobby on Gizmodo.
Iman Ansari: More than any other contemporary architect, you have sought a space for architecture outside the traditional and conventional realm. You have continually argued that modern architecture was never fully modern and it failed to produce a cognitive reflection about the nature of architecture in a fundamental way. From your early houses, we see a search for a system of architectural meaning and an attempt to establish a linguistic model for architecture: The idea that buildings are not simply physical objects, but artifacts with meaning, or signs dispersed across some larger social text. But these houses were also part of a larger project that was about the nature of drawing and representation in architecture. You described them as “cardboard architecture” which neglects the architectural material, scale, function, site, and all semantics associations in favor of architecture as “syntax”: conception of form as an index, a signal or a notation. So to me, it seems like between the object and the idea of the object, your approach favors the latter. The physical house is merely a medium through which the conception of the virtual or conceptual house becomes possible. In that sense, the real building exists only in your drawings.
Peter Eisenman: The “real architecture” only exists in the drawings. The “real building” exists outside the drawings. The difference here is that “architecture” and “building” are not the same.
The Wall Street Journal recently detailed the complex history of E-1027, the house which Eileen Gray designed with her lover Jean Badovici in Southern France: from the murals which Le Corbusier painted on the walls (without Gray’s permission) to the murder that happened there in 1996 to the restoration that has been going on for over a decade (a supposed “massacre” of the original). You can read the full article here.
Opening October 11th to mark the re-opening of the J1 Maritime Hangar, Marseille-Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture, is presenting the Le Corbusier and Brutalism Exhibition in celebration of one of the most esteemed architects of the 20th century. The exhibition emphasizes the different facets of this unique artist-architect who along with his design work also pursued drawing, urbanism, painting, and sculpture.
Curated by Jacques Sbriglio, the renowned Marseille architect and realized in collaboration with the Fondation Le Corbusier, Le Corbusier and Brutalism covers the period from 1935 to 1965. It presents more than 250 of the architect’s works: 133 original blueprints, 54 drawings and sketches, 33 paintings, 14 sculptures, 10 enamels, 4 tapestries, and 19 architectural models, as well as close to 100 photographs taken at Le Corbusier’s building sites. The exhibition ends December 22. For more information, please visit here.
Although critiquing the exhibit for some “critical flaws” – namely the choice of theme and the lack of explanatory text – Alexandra Lange’s review for The New Yorker praises the MoMA’s Le Corbusier exhibit, “An Atlas of Modern Landscapes,” as a “must-see” thanks to its varied displays, which show “the terrific span of Le Corbusier’s career in time, space, and scale [...] If current architects take anything from the exhibition [...] it should be the power of those big, gestural drawings, where visual and verbal argument vividly come together.” Read the rest of Lange’s critique at The New Yorker.
Alix Bossard shares this must-watch video that outlines Le Corbusier’s five revolutionary principles of modern architecture. Using gorgeous motion design, the video briefly introduces us to everything from le Modulor to Villa Savoye and Les Cités Radieuses. Enjoy this two-minute recap of the career of one this century’s most influential architects.
The Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes exhibit at the MoMA opens on June 15th. The exhibit will be centered around Le Corbusier‘s worldview of architecture. It explores both his most famous architectural projects, as well as the means by which he was able to realize them. Through a collection of early watercolors, drawings and photographs, curator Jean-Louis Cohen provides a peak into Le Corbusier’s journeys and developments as an architect, revealing how he explored the world and what he drew from his travels and observations.
More on ‘Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes’ after the break.
As we’ve mentioned before, Irish designer Eileen Gray was undoubtedly one of the most influential, and most overlooked, designers of the 20th century. However, a new Kickstarter campaign aims to put that right once and for all. The campaign is seeking funds to help renovate Gray’s seminal house, E-1027, for the production of a feature film about the architect.
When the gym and solarium on the 20-century’s most famous rooftop terrace – elevated 18-stories above Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse - went up for sale in 2010, French designer Ito Morabito of Ora-ïto immediately jumped on the opportunity and purchased the space. With the support of the Foundation Le Corbusier, Ora-ïto initiated a campaign to restore the 1950‘s structure to its original state, by removing an addition that blocked the spaces 360-degree views of the city, and transform it into a contemporary art center, named the MAMO for “Marseille Modulor” – as a nod to New York’s MOMA.
More about MAMO after the break…