Le Corbusier

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Le Corbusier

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Author: Alban Janson

Type: Hardback

ISBN: 9783932565656

Date: 1st February, 2007


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  2. Individual Architects


Text in English and German. If there is one building by Le Corbusier that represents a synthesis of his basic concepts it is certainly the Unité dhabitation built in Marseille in 194652. This built manifesto does not simply put forward a social model as a utopia, but also the unity of architecture and town planning. It is one of the most significant buildings there has ever been, but it also triggered a great deal of controversy. The story of the response to it has been recorded in order to investigate why this extremely ambitious project in particular should have caused such a conflict between intention and effect. The Unité dhabitation in Marseille is now very popular with the people who live in it as a building. Despite all the criticism, it obviously still offers functional advantages that make it easier for individuals and the community to live together. The enormous sculptural force and the characteristic interplay of light and colour shown in the photographs make the building into a personality that can be identified with. As well as this, the building also offers something special in terms of concrete spatial experience. In the age of a superficial "adventure society" it claims the intensity of an everyday experience that is both casual and at the same time complex, embracing all the senses. This extends from the reception in the imposing foyer to the theatre of figures on the roof terrace in the light of the landscape, from the inverted urban scenery of the promenade publique to twilight seclusion in the silent residential streets. And it includes the flats themselves, which open up expansively to draw in the sea and mountain mood. Le Corbusier used his architectural resources atmospherically and scenically to give the Unité dhabitation a succinct coherence that also forms the basis for individual lives within its rooms and spaces. Precise observation and description reveal the mechanisms of these effects.

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