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Le Corbusier: The Latest Architecture and News

A New Layer of Public Space: The Case for Activating Urban Rooftops

In increasingly denser urban environments, there is a new-found interest in underused spaces as opportunities for further development. Representing up to 25% of cities' land area, rooftops are among the most exciting spatial resources. From sustainable infrastructure and urban farming to social spaces and cultural venues, the article looks into the potential of creating a multi-layered city through the activation of urban rooftops.

CopenHill by BIG. Image © Hufton+CrowGreen Cloud by ZHUBO-AAO. Image © John SiuRodeph Sholom School Playdecks by Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects. Image © Francis DzikowskiYOU+International Youth Community Shenzhen by officePROJECT. Image © Chao Zhang+ 10

Open Concepts: Le Corbusier's Free Plan

The term ‘open concept’ is popular with house-flipping television shows and real estate descriptions for lofts or contemporary style homes. However, the phrase is absent from the architect’s lexicon, likely due to a much more robust vocabulary and archive of precedents for describing the continuity of space in a domestic environment. This video is the second in a series that breaks down various ‘open concepts’ in architecture. The first video was dedicated to the ‘Organic Plan’ of Frank Lloyd Wright and this one takes a closer look at the ‘Free Plan’ of Le Corbusier. Through comparisons with Wright and supported with examples from the Five Points of a Modern Architecture, ‘Free Plans’ are presented as a unique way of understanding the coherence of space.

Architecture and Masks: A Visual Representation of Time

The Avions Voisin C7 was manufactured between 1924 and 1928 and featured a groundbreaking design for the time. The extensive use of glass, aluminum bodywork, and sharp angles hinted at the shapes of an aircraft. This was the car that Le Corbusier liked to park in front of his buildings - the architect considered this car to be the ultimate translation of modern age and technology combined into a single object. He was convinced that architecture had much to learn from this machine.

With 3 gears and a 30-horsepower engine, it is hard to imagine anyone using this car today since the automobile industry has experienced countless innovations since that time. Corbusier's architecture, however, doesn't seem so outdated, but the cars pictured alongside the brand new buildings are actually what reveals how old the photograph is. Locating elements that can point out the time period of a photograph is very effective, especially in architecture. Some elements can make this task much easier, for example, household appliances, computer monitors, or other particular details.

RM House / Pedro Miguel Santos. Image © Alexander BogorodskiyApple Marina Bay Sands / Foster + Partners. Image © Finbarr FallonMicro Tropicality, RAD+ar HQ / RAD+ar (Research Artistic Design + architecture). Image © William SutantoSt. Carolus Hospital Screening Facility / AT-LARS. Image © Ari Pictures+ 10

The 5 Points of Modern Architecture in Contemporary Projects

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.

Unisociesc Block H / Metroquadrado. Image: © Pablo TeixeiraTorreão House / BLOCO Arquitetos. Image: © Haruo MikamiÁgora Tech Park / Estúdio Módulo. Image: © Nelson KonGarden House / Hayhurst and Co. Image: © Kilian O'Sulivan+ 41

Architectural Photographer Edmund Sumner Takes Part in the Artist Support Pledge Initiative with Chandigarh Images

During the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the lack of exhibitions and commissions, artists around the world started to struggle. The Artist Support Pledge, an initiative born in March of 2020 in response to this global crisis, seeks to support creative individuals, including architectural photographers. Founded by artist Matthew Burrows, the global movement connects communities in order to ensure “an equitable and sustainable economy for artists and makers of all countries, media, and ethnicities”.

Cinema in India designed by LeCorbusier. Image © Edmund SumnerDavid Chipperfield Inagawa (PM) 2018. Image © Edmund SumnerThe High Court of Chandigarh designed by Le Corbusier. Image © Edmund SumnerCinema in India designed by LeCorbusier. Image © Edmund Sumner+ 30

Modernist Chandigarh Through the Lens of Roberto Conte

Through its urban planning and civic buildings, Chandigarh represents an iconic fragment of Modernist architecture. This economic and administrative centre was meant to showcase the progressiveness of the 1950s' newly independent India.

House Type 4-J - Pierre Jeanneret . Image © Roberto ConteTower of Shadows - Le Corbusier . Image © Roberto ConteOpen Hand - Le Corbusier . Image © Roberto ConteTower of Shadows - Le Corbusier . Image © Roberto Conte+ 24

AD Classics: Gallaratese Quarter / Aldo Rossi & Carlo Aymonino

As the dust settled following the Second World War much of Europe was left with a crippling shortage of housing. In Milan, a series of plans were drafted in response to the crisis, laying out satellite communities for the northern Italian city which would each house between 50,000 to 130,000 people. Construction the first of these communities began in 1946, one year after the end of the conflict; ten years later in 1956, the adoption of Il Piano Regolatore Generale—a new master plan—set the stage for the development of the second, known as 'Gallaratese'. The site of the new community was split into parts 1 and 2, the latter of which was owned by the Monte Amiata Società Mineraria per Azioni. When the plan allowed for private development of Gallaratese 2 in late 1967, the commission for the project was given to Studio Ayde and, in particular, its partner Carlo Aymonino. Two months later Aymonino would invite Aldo Rossi to design a building for the complex and the two Italians set about realizing their respective visions for the ideal microcosmic community.[1]

© Gili Merin© Gili Merin© Gili Merin© Gili Merin+ 22

Brutalist Beirut: Showcasing a Forgotten Modern Heritage

In recent years, people started to regain interest in a movement that dates back to the last century; a movement, first introduced during the 1940s and 1950s, through the works of Le Corbusier and Alison and Peter Smithson. With monolithic structures, modular shapes, and impressive massing, Brutalism highlights architectural integrity. This movement is highly characterized by rough, raw, and pure surfaces that underline the essence of the substances in question. Spread across the globe, architects have adopted and developed their own vision of this modern movement, creating contextual variations.

In the midst of all the chaos currently taking place in the city of Beirut, we look back on the Lebanese capital’s hidden Brutalist gems. To shed the light on a movement that's often neglected and forgotten, Architect Hadi Mroue created a series of images that highlight the Lebanese Brutalism movement as well as its evolution as an important part of the Lebanese modern heritage.

Spotlight: Le Corbusier

Born in the small Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris—better known by his pseudonym Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965)—is widely regarded as the most important architect of the 20th century. As a gifted architect, provocative writer, divisive urban planner, talented painter, and unparalleled polemicist, Le Corbusier was able to influence some of the world’s most powerful figures, leaving an indelible mark on architecture that can be seen in almost any city worldwide.

Palace of the Assembly at Chandigarh. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/70608042@N00/1321525329'>Flickr user chiara_facchetti</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>Villa Savoye. Image © Flavio BragaiaChurch at Firminy. Image © Richard WeilSwiss Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig+ 25

Studying the "Manual of Section": Architecture's Most Intriguing Drawing

For Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki and David J. Lewis, the section “is often understood as a reductive drawing type, produced at the end of the design process to depict structural and material conditions in service of the construction contract.” A definition that will be familiar to most of those who have studied or worked in architecture at some point. We often think primarily of the plan, for it allows us to embrace the programmatic expectations of a project and provide a summary of the various functions required. In the modern age, digital modelling software programs offer ever more possibilities when it comes to creating complex three dimensional objects, making the section even more of an afterthought.

With their Manual of Section (2016), the three founding partners of LTL architects engage with section as an essential tool of architectural design, and let’s admit it, this reading might change your mind on the topic. For the co-authors, “thinking and designing through section requires the building of a discourse about section, recognizing it as a site of intervention.” Perhaps, indeed, we need to understand the capabilities of section drawings both to use them more efficiently and to enjoy doing so.

Bagsværd Church by Jørn Utzon (1976). Published in Manual of Section by Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis published by Princeton Architectural Press (2016). Image Courtesy of LTL ArchitectsNotre Dame du Haut by Le Corbusier (1954). Published in Manual of Section by Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis published by Princeton Architectural Press (2016). Image Courtesy of LTL ArchitectsUnited States Pavilion at Expo '67 by Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao (1967). Published in Manual of Section by Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis published by Princeton Architectural Press (2016). Image Courtesy of LTL ArchitectsThe Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright (1959). Published in Manual of Section by Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis published by Princeton Architectural Press (2016). Image Courtesy of LTL Architects+ 15

Le Corbusier's Final Building Reopens in Zurich

The Centre Le Corbusier, the final project of renowned architect Le Corbusier, has reopened to the public in Zurich following an extensive renovation. Completed in 1967, the scheme is only of the only Le Corbusier buildings to be constructed almost entirely from glass and steel: realizing his concept of the synthesis of architecture, life, and art in real life.

© Paul Clemence© Paul Clemence© Paul Clemence© Paul Clemence+ 35

The Good Metropolis: From Urban Formlessness to Metropolitan Architecture

From the Publisher:
The book presents the first historical analysis of the productive tension between the city and the architectural form. It introduces 20th-century theories to construct a historical context from which a new architecture-city relationship emerged. The book provides a conceptual framework to understand this relationship and comes to the conclusion that urbanization may be filled with potential, i.e. be a Good Metropolis.

Architect-Designed Light Fixtures at the 2019 Salone del Mobile

As Milan Design Week continues to set avant-garde design trends for the upcoming years, the 2019 Salone del Mobile’s lighting biennale, Euroluce, saw a nod to classic designs mixed with contemporary craftsmanship.

Two dominant trends at this year’s Euroluce are ‘rediscovering the past’ and a ‘reference to nature’. Vintage lighting pieces were rediscovered, not only to serve as valuable tokens of the past, but as foundation for new research. The reference to nature is evidently the most dominant design trend at this year’s lighting biennale, as designers found inspiration from natural, organic forms, and produced their pieces with eco-friendly material.

However, some of the most unique pieces at this year’s Euroluce were developed in collaboration with heavyweights in the world of design. Profound architects found their way into the 2019 Euroluce, bringing together their design skills with the engineering solutions of design companies.