Le Corbusier – The Architect of Modernism


Le Corbusier was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. He is considered one of the founders of modern architecture and urbanism. His works are characterized by clear forms, geometric order and functional aesthetics. He was not only an architect, but also a painter, sculptor, designer, writer and theorist. In this article we will give an overview of his life and his most important projects.

Le Corbusier was born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris in 1887 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. He grew up in a family of watchmakers and showed an early interest in art and technology. He attended the School of Arts and Crafts in his hometown, where he learned the craft of engraving and enameling. He made several trips to Italy, France and Germany, where he studied various architectural styles.

In 1917 he moved to Paris and from then on called himself Le Corbusier, a pseudonym he took from a distant relative. He first worked as a painter and joined the avant-garde movement Purism, which called for a return to simple and geometric forms.

In the 1920s, Le Corbusier became a leading exponent of modern architecture. He published several books in which he set forth his vision of a new architecture and a new society. His best-known works include “Vers une architecture” (1923), “Urbanisme” (1925), and “La Ville radieuse” (1935). He also coined the term “machine à habiter” (living machine) to describe his idea of a building that meets the needs and functions of its inhabitants.

Le Corbusier was not only an architect of modernism, but also a critic of modernism. He criticized industrialization, urbanization, and mass culture, which he saw as sources of alienation and chaos. He sought a synthesis of art and technology, of tradition and innovation, of the individual and the collective. He was fascinated by nature, history, and exotic cultures. He traveled a lot and was inspired by different places, such as the Mediterranean, the Orient or South America.

Le Corbusier died of a heart attack in the sea off Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in France in 1965 at the age of 77. He left behind an extensive body of work that remains controversial to this day. He has been called both a genius and a tyrant, a visionary and a utopian. His architecture has been both admired and criticized, as revolutionary and reactionary. However, his influence on architecture and urbanism is undeniable. He has inspired and shaped many generations of architects. He created and challenged modernism.

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