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Le Corbusier & His "5 Crows"



Le Corbusier, whose real name was Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, is known as one of the pioneers of modern architecture. The name “Le Corbusier”, meaning “the crow-like man”, comes from a derivative of his grandfather’s name. He changed it to show the world “You can do whatever you like”. The development of his design theory “Les Cinq points d’une architecture nouvelle" during the 1920s, made Le Corbusier a revered architect and designer. These five theories became the structural basis on which some of the most famous structures are built upon. Let’s deep dive into these five points.


Villa Savoye
Villa Savoye
Piloti

Piloti, which essentially means pillars, are any type of pillar that elevates a structure off the ground. This type of structure has many functional advantages. Firstly, it allows for room underneath the structure to house a garage, a covered space, or even a garden. It also allows for circulation underneath the building. Piloti is a great example of killing two birds with one stone, combining both structural and artistic design.


Museum of Western Art Tokyo
Museum of Western Art Tokyo

The Roof Garden

The concept of a roof garden, or flat roof, is an environmentally conscious concept that replaces the land used for a typical roof structure with the greenery along the roof plane. This rooftop garden can be utilized for both environmental and recreational purposes, allowing for increased foliage and efficient use of space.


Maison Guiette
Maison Guiette




Free Plan

The Free Plan is the third theory as developed by Le Corbusier in which the space has no structural walls throughout the interior and instead the interior structure is supported solely through load-bearing columns. This allows for the interior to feel as though it were a “studio”, allowing the designer freedom to easily locate and remove walls within the space. This concept is an architect’s dream.






Free Facade

This theory is similar to the concept of "Free Planning", wherein the designer is able to freely design the facade free from the structure.


Weissenhof Siedlung Estate
Weissenhof Siedlung Estate

Horizontal Windows

Horizontal windows are the final design concept as developed by Le Corbusier. By utilizing horizontal windows, the facade is able to be cut entirely along its length, allowing for maximum lighting and illumination throughout the interior. In addition, this concept provides optimized ventilation and incredible views of the surrounding exterior.




Notre-Dame du Haut
Notre-Dame du Haut

In addition to the development of these pivotal design theories that influenced modern architecture, Le Corbusier enjoyed utilizing concrete within his designs. Working in his early years with one of the pioneers of reinforced concrete, Auguste Perret, his fascination quickly grew, realizing that reinforced concrete was cheaper when compared to traditional steel frameworks. Le Corbusier loved how concrete could mould itself into whatever shape desired. This affinity for concrete led Le Corbusier to invent “Breton Brut”, or raw concrete, which is concrete that is left unfinished after being cast, displaying the patterns and seams imprinted on it by the formwork. Seeing the rawness from the forms and the moulds was something that appealed to Le Corbusier’s artistic style. Concrete also allowed him to merge the style of the machine age with classical architecture. After the chaos of the Second World War, Le Corbusier retracted his endorsement of “the machine”, and began truly using concrete as an artform within his walls. He felt as though concrete showed the primitive purity of architecture, and allowed buildings to be built on a much larger scale.


In his 77 years of life, Le Corbusier developed many pivotal principles and concepts that are still utilized in architecture today. He was recognized as a pioneer of modern architecture, and 17 of his projects have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Although some of his works have been controversial, such as his urban planning projects, he remains a major influence in the architectural world and his legacy lives on.


In the comments down below, let us know which of Le Corbusier's works are your favourite!


References

A, N. (2021, November 17). Le Corbusier. Biography.com. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://www.biography.com/artist/le-corbusier


Doyle, R. B. (2015, March 16). 13 little-known facts about Le Corbusier's life, loves, and modernist designs. Curbed. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://archive.curbed.com/2015/3/16/9980286/le-corbusiers-grave-in-france


Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (2020, December 14). Le Corbusier. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Le-Corbusier


Ltd, A. A. (2021, December 31). Le Corbusier: Five points of architecture. UK Essays. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://www.ukessays.com/essays/architecture/five-points-of-architecture.php


Quddus, S. (2014, December 4). Material masters: Le Corbusier's love for concrete. ArchDaily. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://www.archdaily.com/574981/material-masters-le-corbusier-s-love-for-concrete


Quirk, V. (2012, October 6). 14 facts you didn't know about Le Corbusier. ArchDaily. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://www.archdaily.com/278569/14-facts-le-corbusier




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