Towards a New Architecture By Le Corbusier

    characters Towards a New Architecture

    For the Swiss-born architect and city planner Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, 1887–1965), architecture constituted a noble art, an exalted calling in which the architect combined plastic invention, intellectual speculation, and higher mathematics to go beyond mere utilitarian needs, beyond style, to achieve a pure creation of the spirit which established emotional relationships by means of raw materials.

    The first major exposition of his ideas appeared in Vers une Architecture (1923), a compilation of articles originally written by Le Corbusier for his own avant-garde magazine, L'Esprit Nouveau. The present volume is an unabridged English translation of the 13th French edition of that historic manifesto, in which Le Corbusier expounded his technical and aesthetic theories, views on industry, economics, relation of form to function, the mass-production spirit, and much else. A principal prophet of the modern movement in architecture, and a near-legendary figure of the International School, he designed some of the twentieth century's most memorable buildings: Chapel at Ronchamp; Swiss dormitory at the Cité Universitaire, Paris; Unité d'Habitation, Marseilles; and many more.

    Le Corbusier brought great passion and intelligence to these essays, which present his ideas in a concise, pithy style, studded with epigrammatic, often provocative, observations: American engineers overwhelm with their calculations our expiring architecture. Architecture is stifled by custom. It is the only profession in which progress is not considered necessary. A cathedral is not very beautiful . . . and Rome is the damnation of the half-educated. To send architectural students to Rome is to cripple them for life.

    Profusely illustrated with over 200 line drawings and photographs of his own works and other structures he considered important, Towards a New Architecture is indispensable reading for architects, city planners, and cultural historians―but will intrigue anyone fascinated by the wide-ranging ideas, unvarnished opinions, and innovative theories of one of this century's master builders. Towards a New Architecture

    I absolutely loved this book!! To think Le Corbusier wrote these series of essays almost a century ago, and how many of his ideas are now a reality in urban planning, house design, etc. He truly was a visionary and has helped me understand the concepts of modern architecture. I want to keep on learning about his work, his legacy. The passionate way he writes would often make me laugh, since his ideas come up as bold, even in 2021. Simply amazing! English When I was in architecture school in England, Corb, as we called him, was the master (and Alvar Aalto the disciple). He stated the case for modern architecture so convincingly that it seemed the only possible altenative. In his hands, it was beautiful and practical, and also economical. He had a zen spareness about his work, and a sculptural gift. His drawings and his furniture are exciting, without being gaudy. Quite the opposite. He exemplified Less is More. And he taught me, and a generation of architecture students, 'the discipline of the route.' Buildings, as he taught us, are not experienced whole, but as a series of experiences. Orchestrating those, and making sure that the visitor is always oriented to the whole, is the basic given of good architecture, like writing a grammatical sentence is a given for a good writer. Unfortunately, this is often forgotten today.

    This book is his concise statement of his philosophy. Most architecture since then either follows its dictates or rebels against them.

    English I don't like the way Le Corbusier writes, but this book is epic. As a student of architecture I learned a lot from this book, mostly about the five principles of Modern Architecture. It isn't a boring book, but you have to be careful to interpretate some things he writes. It is definetly a must-read. English The Swiss-French architect Charles-Edouard Jenneret, better known as Le Corbusier (1887-1965), was so innovative in his choices of building materials, arrangement of mass and flexibility of purpose that his very name became synonymous with modern architecture. In this 1933 book, originally published in French as Vers une Architecture, he championed the use of cast concrete, plate glass, open staircases and curtain walls, designed ambitious public-housing schemes (and had most of them built), and saw his projects spread over the world.

    This is an absolutely marvelous book and fundamental to any understanding of 20th-Century architecture. It is profusely illustrated with line drawings and black-and-white photographs; no color, alas.

    A typical cast-concrete granary of the era (Hutchinson, KS, USA):




    Cité de Refuge, Le Corbusier, Paris, 1933. Per curbed.com:
    [T]he innovative, 11-story building featured a series of internal concrete columns, floors without load-bearing walls, and a sealed glass curtain wall. This was almost two full decades before curtain wall construction became widely used in the United States:




    United Nations headquarters, New York City, 1952 (beyond the scope of this book):

    English I read this book for a class assignment, I was looking forward to it because Le Corbusier is the biggest influence of the modern era of architecture, his principles are still up to date and architects all around the world still learn and apply his theories today (though I am not sure they should).
    I found interesting to learn his reasonings for sustaning his Principles of Architecture,and for a thorough understanding I recommend also reading: The Athens Charter where his influence is noticeable on the statements about city planning.

    Apart form reading this and other books of his, I think it is much interesting and insightful to study his projects (real and theoretical) because they demonstrate how possible (or not) it was for Le Corbusier to stick to his principle and make them work (most of them didn't). I have also read about his life and relationships with clients and other artists and colleagues (which is fascinating to me)and one can learn that his personality affected his work enormously; and tragically I concluded that his ego and stubbornness didn't allow him to accept reality (I think he really disliked people)and adapt his theories to people actual needs.

    In conclusion, Le Corbusier taught me that, even when you have The Solution, it is impossible to change people. English

    in which corbusier attempts to be architecture's rouchefoucauld. ambitious but confused, modernism deserved a better manifesto. English I'm giving this book a four star rating, not because it is such good reading, but because it and the ideas of Swiss architect Le Corbusier were so influential in making the world as we know it.

    His model of separation of work and residential sectors of cities, with vehicular traffic on the edges was followed all over the world for much of the 20th century. All those apartment blocks--both luxury and urban renewal--are the direct descendants of his tower in the park plans. So was the draconian remaking of cities by removing old housing and changing street patterns. Ditto, although a little indirectly, for the suburban communities where you must have a car to get around, where through traffic goes around development, and where a corner store that you could walk to is non-existent.

    The model lies behind a great deal that is wrong with our cities. Read the book, and then think about what a mess it has brought about. English Much of what Le Corbusier advocates for in this book is terrific, though I wonder if he actually believed his own words. In practice, he fits the mold of a conventional engineer, while the prose of this work is written with lofty, creative, artistic sentiments. Le Corbusier's philosophy was largely detrimental, not beneficial, for society. His super blocks created isolated ghettos, his planning utopias ultimately influenced urban renewal horrors. Ironically, his actions were at odds with his words in this book, and consequently comes off as disingenuous and superficial, though much of the ideas are notable. English After years, I finally decided to read Le Corbusier in full-length form. It's pretty much the nearest thing modernism has to a manifesto, and by that, I mean modernism in all its forms. The premises are simple: tradition is restrictive, things should be functional, and our art should take our technological advances into account. These all seem like good things to me.

    Of course, a lot of his beliefs seem naïve now -- the idea that good architecture = good people is thoroughly, thoroughly flawed. But it's important to read books like this, ones that suggest things could be better, because anyone who tells you that we are living in the best of all possible worlds deserves a kick in the pants. English Fantastic book. Disagreed with most of it. English

    Towards