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Biography of Le Corbusier (1887-1965)


Architect, urbanist, sculptor, and Swiss painter, of French nationality, whose real name is Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, although it is universally known as Le Corbusier. Born on October 6, 1887 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, town in the Jura region, and died in 1965 in Cap Martin, in the South of France. Family of edges and engravers enter at the local school of Arts and crafts in 1900, to study the technique of engraving and chiselling, where it receives the decisive influence of his teacher Eplattenier, in love with painting and architecture. Four years later he entered the higher courses of decoration, founded and directed by the artist.

In 1907, after receiving his first commissioned, the Villa Fallet at La Cheaux-de-Fonds (1905), begins a long journey through Europe and the Middle East, assimilating a Mediterranean tradition and new trends of the art. He travels to the North of Italy, Tuscany, where it becomes deeply impressed by the Carthusian monastery of Ema Galluzo, which socio-fisico first experiences the idea of the living, converted ¨comuna¨ later in the model to their own interpretation of the utopian ideas of socialism. Visit Budapest and Vienna, where he worked for some time at the Studio of Josef Hoffmann, in addition to having the opportunity to learn about the innovative ideas of the Austrian architect Adolf Loos.

A year later travels from Vienna to Nuremberg, Munich, Nancy, Lyon, where he works with Tony Garnier, precisely when this begins the expansion of its project started in 1904 to a Cite Industrielle. Le Corbusier's utopian sympathies for socialism, and his susceptibidad against a topological approach to architecture, date back to this meeting.

His trip ends in Paris, where he met Grasset, Sauvage, Jourdain, etc., as well as working together with Auguste Perret until 1909, with whom he becomes familiar in the technique of the concrete, later used as a means of expression in its architecture. At the same time take advantage of your stay in the capital to expand their knowledge of French classical culture, visiting museums, libraries and conference rooms.

In 1909 returns to La Cheaux-de-Fonds, where he collaborates on the Foundation of the Ateliers réunis d´art. A year later the institution commissioned him a trip to study the situation of decorative art in Germany. On the occasion of this published its first written études sur le mouvement d´art décoratif en Allemagne. Meet the key figures of the German Werkbund, as Peter Behrens, whose study works for a while, or Heinrich Tessenow, who exert a strong influence on two of his later works in La Chaux de Fonds: the Villa Jeanneret Pere (1912), and the Scala Cinema (1916).

In 1911 he traveled to central Europe and the Balkans along with Auguste Klipstein: Vienna, Budapest, Romania, Turkey, Greece, and later Naples, Rome, Florence, Pompeii, etc...The impressions of this journey are collected in a series of articles published in the Feuille d´Avis la Chaux-de-Fonds and in 1966 in his book titled Voyage d´Orient. After this third voyage he was named Professor of la Nouvelle Section of l´Ecole d´Art, dissolved in 1914.

Visit Zurich and Paris, where he exhibits for the first time in the Salon d'Automne of 1912, a series of watercolors made during his travels between 1907 and 1913, with the title of Langages des pierres.

The year 1916 becomes the culmination of his first race in La Chaux de Fonds with the construction of the Villa Schwob, synthesis of all your previous experiences and the manifestation of the assimilation of the spatial potential of the Hennebique system, that allows the author to impose a structure skeleton from Hoffmann, Perret and Tessenow stylistic elements. For the first time Le Corbusier uses regulatory lines to maintain a proportional control on the facades of the villa.

A year later settles permanently in Paris, where, on the occasion of a demonstration by the Group Art et Liberté, he meets the painter Amédée Ozenfant. Next to the purist movement he founded and directs the L´Esprit Nouveau journal. Appears in this published, in 1920, the first full formulation of the new aesthetic, under the title après le cubisme. According to both artists Cubism defends pure and simple shapes as a primary source of aesthetic feelings. The images should be simplified as a result of the new industrial age.

Without doubt the most fertile of his collaboration period coincides with the gestation of the writing Vers une architecture, appearing before leaving as a book in 1923, published in part in the L´Esprit Nouveau magazine under the pseudonym of Le Corbusier, taken from one of their ancestors.

During the first five years of its intense activity in Paris, he combines his work as a painter and writer with the work of director of a factory bricks and building materials. In 1922 abandoned this work to inaugurate its study of 35th Street of Sevres, along with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, where he continued working until his death. Like Walter Gropius intends to overcome in its architecture the contrast between technical progress and artistic creation, between quantitative and qualitative results, but always in accordance with the French tradition.

The study of the street of Sevres

One of the initial aims of the new Cabinet is the advance the idea ¨construccional¨, which started already in the Maison Domino (1914). It is a clear example of the possibilities and advantages of standardization of all and each one of the elements that constitute it, creating a new system in which the structure is completely independent of the distribution, and continued at the maison in gros beton (1919); the House Baroq (1920); or the House Citrohan (1920), which collects the structure Hennebique as structural skeleton of a long volume. The subsequent applications of these experiments are radically different: homes insulated and high budget, such as a villa in Vaucresson (1922); Home-Studio for the painter Ozenfant in Paris in the same year; House La Roche-Jeanneret Paris (1925), or the houses Lipchitz and Miestschaninoff in Boulogne (1926). Only in 1925 has the opportunity to build around a neighborhood of houses standardized in Pessac, Bordeaux, making it true laboratory of all his theoretical ideas, but with dismal results for the amount of problems that.

The Maison Citrohan is presented at the Salon d'Automne in 1922, along with his first project of the ideal city: a Ville Contemporaine of three million inhabitants, in which there are three different types of buildings: large cruciform skyscraper intended for businesses in the Centre, six homes in the intermediate zone, and Immuebles-Villa, which combines housing with various common services.

In 1925 at the international exhibition of decorative arts, Le Corbusier takes advantage of L´Esprit Nouveau Pavilion to present an element of the property-villa and later specify the Organization of joint. In the same exhibition also presents its first concrete urban proposal: the plan Voisin for the center of Paris.un year, publishes a document where many of the ideas embodied in the earlier years, are exposed in a systematic manner, under the title the five points of a new architecture next to P. Jeanneret.

It actively participates in the creation of the International Congress of modern architecture (CIAM), from 1928 to 1958.

On the occasion of the contest for the Palacio of Nations Geneva (1927-29), produced the first large and loud confirmation of Le Corbusier. Despite not be winning and comply with a first prize ex-aequo, is the moral winner of the competition, showing his controversial and combative, entrepreneurial temperament which years later he becomes undisputed protagonist of the modern movement.

With this project began one of its most fruitful periods, that of the 1930s, with the construction of a number of private homes: House Stein in Garches (1927), which represents an important stage where meet the problems of luxury, comfort and architectural aesthetics; a villa in Carthage, Tunisia (1928); or the Saboie Villa in Poissy (1929-31), which shows a new and provocative functional conception of the House understood as living machine. To this period belong the city shelter in Paris (1929), first completely airtight building for housing; the Swiss Pavilion of the University City of Paris (1930); and the competition for the Palacio of the Soviets in Moscow (1931).

In the second post-war period, Le Corbusier maintains an unsuspected architectural activity. The Picasso of architecture, is called by his intense career, accentuated during their 20 years of life. The idea of the Immueble-Villa made in 1922, it passes to the practice in recent years. In this way appear their room units: Marseille (1947-52); Nantes-Rezé (1952-57); Berlin (1957); and Bryeila-Forêt (1960), in which the philosophy of Le Corbusier seems to have found its greatest expression.

The chapel of Notre - gives me-du-Haut in Ronchamp (1950), seems to break with all previous rationalist line, but if you look at their later production we agree in the falsehood of this statement: the project of Chandigarh in India (1951-55); or the convent of Sainte-Marie-de-la-Tourette in Evreux-sur-Arbresie (1957-60), which recalls the poem to the right angle written by Le Corbusier in 1955.

Chapel of Ronchamp, of Le Corbusier.

Urbanism and the Ville Radieuse

For the modern city, Le Corbusier is the term ville radieuse. Starting from the same point is precisely the residence; It is not this which has to adapt to the demands of a new urban layout, but that it must determine the layout of the city. In this way room cells come together to form a block of indefinite length factory, bent, gets to take advantage of the two orientations: the East-West and the North.

The form of jogs that formed an inverted repeated rotation, is the redent: eleven-storey building. Both constructions and motorways are raised on pilotis, leaving soil completely free. This becomes a park which can be crossed by pedestrians in all directions, where located schools, kindergartens, theatres and sports fields.

Workplaces are built in the vicinity of the city: light, heavy industries and the business district are located between green areas.

This theoretical model is used by Le Corbusier in many of their urban planning proposals. In 1929 proposes solutions for some cities in America, such as: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. Between 1930 and 1934, it presents various solutions to the regulatory plan of the city of Algiers. In 1934 he studied a fabrica-modelo project and the regulatory plan of Nemours, in Africa.

Publishes the book Villa radieuse in 1935. In him all his urban theory, applied that same year to the ordination of Hellocourt and Zlinpara.Todos Valley appears formulated these plans are true architectural images to urban or landscape level. At that time, Le Corbusier is probably the only one who has a clear idea of the modern city, as an alternative to the former.

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