Le Corbusier

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About the artist

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, known as Le Corbusier, is an architect, urban planner, decorator, painter, sculptor, Swiss naturalized French author, born October 6, 1887 in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland and died August 27, 1965 in Roquebrune -Cap-Martin in France. He is one of the main representatives of the modern movement with, among others, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Alvar Aalto and Theo van Doesburg. He thus rubbed shoulders with Robert Mallet-Stevens.


Le Corbusierb also worked in town planning and design. He is known for being the inventor of the “housing unit”, a concept on which he began to work in the 1920s, an expression of theoretical reflection on collective housing. “The housing unit of conforming size” (name given by Le Corbusier) will only be built at the time of reconstruction after the Second World War, in five all different copies, in Marseille, Briey-en-Forêt, Rezé , Firminy and Berlin. It will take on the value of a solution to the post-war housing problems. Its design envisages in the same building all the collective equipment necessary for life – daycare, laundry, swimming pool, school, shops, library, meeting places.

Le Corbusier’s architectural work comprising seventeen sites (including ten in France, the others being spread over three continents) was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 17, 2016. A European cultural route entitled “Destinations Le Corbusier: architectural walks” was created in early May 2019.

Le Corbusier’s work and thought were particularly influential on post-war generations of architects and widely disseminated, before entering, with the period of postmodernism, a phase of significant and regular contestation6.

He is the father of modern architecture, being the first to replace the exterior load-bearing walls with reinforced concrete pillars, placed inside the constructions.

Therefore, the facades no longer carrying the upper floors, it is possible to dress them with light partitions and multiple and very large windows. He then plays with shapes and spaces, without having to take into account any alignment linked to the weights of the upper floors, this constraint having disappeared.

Its main strength has been to significantly reduce construction times. He was the first to use basic techniques and materials, making it possible to build an entire house, on several floors in a few days, like his first complex, the Cité Frugès de Pessac, in the near suburbs of Bordeaux, a city made up of fifty small buildings, about one new building being built every week.