Le Corbusier

Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, Le Corbusier: Shaping the Future of Art and Architecture

Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, affectionately known as Le Corbusier, stands as a towering figure in the realm of 20th-century art and architecture. He not only pioneered the principles of modern architecture but also explored numerous creative avenues, from furniture and tapestry design to painting, sculpture, and poetry.

A Multifaceted Artisan
Le Corbusier's journey into the world of art and design began in the early 1900s when he embarked on his training in engraving and chiseling at the Art School in Jura, Switzerland. As a self-taught artist, he rapidly evolved into one of the most versatile and prolific creatives of the 20th century, seamlessly transitioning between roles as an architect, town planner, furniture designer, tapestry artist, painter, sculptor, and even a poet.

Life and Legacy
Born in 1887 in Switzerland, Le Corbusier's artistic journey eventually led him to the French Riviera, where he passed away in 1965. He began as a Swiss national but later acquired French citizenship in 1930, reflecting his profound impact on the global architectural and artistic landscape.

In 1921, Le Corbusier created "Nature morte" (Still Life), an oil painting on a 54 x 81 cm canvas, now held at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris

Pioneering Modern Architecture
In 1926, Le Corbusier introduced a groundbreaking theory of modern architecture founded on five core principles: stilts, roof decks, open-plan layouts, original facades, and window sills. As a pioneer of modern architecture and design, he ardently rejected superfluous architectural ornamentation, opting for a style that later became known as modernism, or even constructivism (often called brutalism). His iconic buildings were characterized by elemental geometric forms constructed from industrial materials such as steel and reinforced concrete.

Global Influence
Le Corbusier's influence extended internationally. In 1928, he founded the CIAM (International Congress of Modern Architecture), uniting key architects and town planners in the modernist movement. In 1945, he introduced the concept of "housing units of standard size" (known as "l'unité de l'habitation de grandeur conforme"). This innovation allowed him to consolidate essential facilities within a single building, including nurseries, laundromats, swimming pools, schools, and libraries.

Pioneer of Purism
Early in his career, Le Corbusier rejected cubism as "irrational" and "romantic." Together with Amédée Ozenfant, he forged a new aesthetic doctrine known as purism, where objects were represented as elementary forms free of intricate details. He championed simplicity and geometric purity, casting aside exuberance and decor.

Corbusier Haus (right) and Citrohan Haus in Weissenhof, Stuttgart, Germany (1927)The Pursuit of Light and Space

Le Corbusier's designs consistently emphasized modern, open interiors flooded with natural light. His architectural and interior creations were marked by structural order, proportion, and a sense of space. This commitment to clarity and simplicity also extended to his furniture designs, which were characterized by their minimalistic and efficient aesthetic.

Le Corbusier's "Arabesques animées et chien"

A Visionary in Textiles
Le Corbusier's comprehensive approach to design encompassed a wide array of applied arts, including textiles. He regarded tapestry as "the mural of the modern age" and elevated it to a distinct medium, rather than a mere translation of his ideas from other artistic realms. He emphasized the functional qualities of his "Muralnomads," highlighting their portability and adaptability.

A Global Impact
A true globetrotter, Le Corbusier's artistic legacy spans 12 countries, including the creation of 78 buildings and over 400 projects. These contributions encompass an eclectic array of structures, from villas and workshops to innovative habitations.

Le Corbusier's imprint on the world of art and architecture remains indelible. His legacy endures as a testament to the power of visionary design and the pursuit of artistic excellence.