Notre Dam, Ronchamp
Le Corbusier; Iannis Xenakis; Edgard Varèse, «Poème électronique» Philips Pavilion, 1958
Le Corbusier Car 1929
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier Le Corbusier (1887-1965), widely acclaimed as the most influential architect of the 20th century, was also a celebrated thinker, writer and artist – a multi-faceted ‘renaissance man’. His architecture and radical ideas for reinventing modern living, from private villas to large scale social housing to utopian urban plans, still resonate today. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout central Europe, India, Russia, one in North and several in South America.
He was a pioneer in studies of modern high design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities. Le Corbusier adopted his pseudonym in the 1920s, allegedly deriving it in part from the name of a distant ancestor, “Lecorbésier.” However, it appears to have been an earlier (and somewhat unkind) nickname, which he simply decided to keep. He was awarded the Frank P. Brown Medal in 1961.
Le Corbusier’s work changed dramatically over the years; from his early houses inspired by the regional vernacular of his native Switzerland, the iconic Purist architecture and interiors for which he is best known, his master plan for Paris in the 1920s, the shift to organic forms in the 1930s, and the dynamic synthesis achieved between his art and architecture as exemplified by his chapel at Ronchamp (1950-55), and his civic buildings in Chandigarh, India (1952-64). Highlights include a monumental mural painting, Femme et coquillage IV (1948) from his own office at Rues de Sèvres, Paris; a reconstruction of his Plan Voisin for Paris (1925); a complete original kitchen by Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand from his famous Unité d’habitation, Marseille (1947-50); original models of Ronchamp (1950-55), Unité d’habitation (1945-52), Parliament Building Chandigarh (1951-64) amongst others; and the film version of Le Corbusier and Edgard Varèse’s Poème Electronique (1958).