In 1926, Le Corbusier developed the five points that would become the foundations for modern architecture. Once materialized in 1929 in the iconic Villa Savoye project, Le Corbusier's principles - pilotis, free design of the ground plan, free design of the facade, horizontal window, and roof garden - have been extensively explored in modern architecture and continue to influence the most diverse contemporary architectural projects to this day.
The five points became a kind of guideline for the New Architecture, as Corbusier used to call it. Even after decades, new technologies, materials, and demands of society have continued to update those architectural solutions, announced almost a century ago as the basis for a new architecture.
Over the past few decades, many architecture designs have featured at least one of the five points. Whenever a building showcases more than one of them - or even all five - the strong relationship between these points is renewed, and the modernist heritage of current architecture is somehow reaffirmed.
Based on a list of 20 contemporary projects published by ArchDaily, we present the five points of architecture in different settings and contexts. Check them out:
Lifting a building over pilots frees the ground floor for the circulation of people and vehicles. This fundamentally modern solution is still used today to promote free spaces, with a stronger connection between the public sphere and the building's private spaces.
Free Design of the Ground Plan
The free design of the ground plan is achieved by creating an open plan, freeing the floor plan from structural conditioning so that the partitions and internal spaces of the building become more flexible and integrated. This feature allows for future changes in the building, expansions, or moving partition walls.
Free Design of the Facade
Separating the structure from the walls creates not only a free floor plan but also a facade that allows more freedom for windows and openings. As a result, non-structural walls can also enable the installation of horizontal windows, yet another one of the five points for a new architecture.
Horizontal windows are generous openings that cut through the entire length of the building's facade, providing more indoor lighting and panoramic views of the exterior. Many contemporary projects display variations of this feature by exploring different styles and positions of the window frames.
A roof garden, or green roof, is a flat roof that offers additional living space, in contrast to traditional roofs. In the last decades, roof gardens have become very popular, and the improvements in materials and waterproofing systems have allowed for even more freedom when designing this architectural solution.