It is impossible to understand the architecture of the twentieth century and of our own time without first coming to terms with Le Corbusier (1887–1965). His buildings can be found from Paris to La Plata to the Punjab and his influence has extended over several generations worldwide.
Individual masterpieces such as the Villa Savoye at Poissy, the Chapel of Notre Dame-du-Haut at Ronchamp and the Parliament Building in Chandigarh, bear comparison with the works of any age. As well as an architect, Le Corbusier was also a painter, sculptor, urbanist and author; even a philosopher who ruminated upon the human condition in the modern era. He reordered the ground rules of the architectural discipline and invested his insights with a universal tone.
This probing study of Le Corbusier’s work explores the interactions of ideas and forms in his individual buildings and in his oeuvre as a whole. By penetrating the design processes of his major buildings it reveals the architect’s struggle to reconcile the ideal and the practical and to give clients’ aspirations and society's institutions a suitable symbolic form. It analyses Le Corbusier’s phenomenal powers of imaginative synthesis, the recurrent elements of his architectural language, and the multiple levels of meaning in his projects.
In turn it shows how this most 'modern' of architects drew inspiration from both nature and the past.
About the Author
William J. R. Curtis is an award-winning historian, critic, writer, curator, painter and photographer. Educated at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and at Harvard University, he has taught the history of art, theories of design and architecture at several universities worldwide: among others, Harvard University; the Architectural Association, London; UNAM, Mexico City; ETSAB, Barcelona; Helsinki Institute of Technology; the Accademia di architettura, Mendrisio, Switzerland; and the University of Cambridge where he was Slade Professor of Fine Art 2003-4.
In addition to teaching history and theory, Curtis has been directly involved in architectural education in the studio and in juries. He has written historical, critical and theoretical texts on subjects as varied as modern architecture, landscape design, the history of everyday objects, the process of design, historiography, visual education and criticism. His best known books include: the best-selling Modern Architecture Since 1900 and Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms (both published by Phaidon).
"Impressive ...Any committed bibliophile should splash out on this new, seductively hefty tome. ...A succinct over-view of one mans' determination to change the world a? We are fortunate to have Curtis' considered critique to vouchsafe Corb's rightful place in the architectural pantheon." RIAS Quarterly"
For Grades: 8+
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 25th March 2015
Publisher: Phaidon Press Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 30.5 x 23.8
Weight (kg): 2.98
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition