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Le Corbusier in his own words - An introduction for children
By Antoine Vigne

September 14, 2009 /
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 corbu_1.jpg
Photo © Betty Bone

 

A book full of discoveries and surprises about one of the best known yet most enigmatic figures in the history of architecture.
 
This introduction to the architecture and ideas of Le Corbusier for children of ten and over - it will fascinate architecture minded adults too - brings to life the man, the architect, his work and the world in which he lived. The words are his own and with the accompanying photographs and drawings serve to reveal the philosophy behind the architecture.

In Le Corbusier's buildings and art a human figure standing with one arm raised is a recurrent image. This is Modulor Man, the mascot of Le Corbusier's system for re-ordering the universe. The Modulor was meant as a universal system of proportions, devised to reconcile maths, the human form, architecture and beauty into a single system.

corbu_2.jpgPhoto © Betty Bone

"My advice would be to use the height of a man with his arm raised - and double that. By establishing standards we shall succeed in solving the problem of perfection."
 
corbu_3.jpgPhoto © Betty Bone
"Where order reigns, well-being follows."

Close to forty- five years after his death Le Corbusier remains one of the most influential of architects, the most famous of the Modernists whose name is familiar all over the world. He was a tireless worker, a furious writer, who never missed an opportunity to test his ideas. He was seventeen when he built his first house and continued building until he died. He was severely criticized but never gave up because he had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve: a vision of a rapidly evolving new society - the machine age.

corbu_4.jpgPhoto © Betty Bone
"Sun, space, trees: that is what cities need."

There were enormous changes in the nineteenth century. Technology, steel, concrete and scientific progress offered new possibilities for architects and engineers. Le Corbusier could see around him cars, giant ocean liners and planes that flew in the sky. None of these would have existed without scientific progress. But if scientific progress could transform transportation why couldn't it revolutionise houses, buildings and even the city?


 corbu_5.jpgPhoto © Betty Bone
"The block of flats, an enormous constraint, or a new freedom"?

Le Corbusier is famous for his dictum that "a house is a machine for living in." What he meant by this was that architecture must be at the service of all of us: it must facilitate our daily lives and the relationships between us and it must, above all, provide a comfortable home. To achieve this, each element of the house must be part of a well-oiled machine.

corbu_6.jpgPhoto © Betty Bone

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Details

Illustrations: Betty Bone
Publisher: Papadakis

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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