October 28, 2021
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, known as Le Corbusier, is a Swiss architect, town planner, decorator, painter, sculptor and author naturalized French, born October 6, 1887 in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) and died August 27, 1965 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (France). He is one of the main representatives of the modern movement with, among others, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Alvar Aalto and Theo van Doesburg. He thus rubbed shoulders with Robert Mallet-Stevens. Le Corbusier has also worked in town planning and design. He is known for being the inventor of the “housing unit”, a concept on which he began to work in the 1920s, the expression of a theoretical reflection on collective housing. "The standard-size housing unit" (name given by Le Corbusier) will not be built until the reconstruction after the Second World War, in five different units, all different, in Marseille, Briey-en-Forêt, Rezé , Firminy and Berlin. It will take on the value of a solution to the post-war housing problems. Its design envisages in the same building all the collective facilities necessary for life - nursery, laundry, swimming pool, school, shops, library, meeting places. Le Corbusier's architectural work of seventeen sites (including ten in France, the others spread over three continents) was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 17, 2016. A European cultural route entitled “Le Corbusier Destinations: architectural walks ”was created in early May 2019. Le Corbusier's work and thought were particularly influential on the generations of post-war architects and widely disseminated, before entering, with the period of postmodernism, a phase of significant and regular contestation. He is the father of modern architecture, being the first to replace external load-bearing walls with reinforced concrete pillars, placed inside buildings. Consequently, the facades no longer carrying the upper floors, it is possible to dress them with light partitions and multiple and very large windows. He then plays with shapes and spaces, without having to take into account any alignment linked to the weights of the upper floors, this constraint having disappeared. Its main strength has been to considerably reduce construction times. He was the first to use basic techniques and materials, making it possible to build an entire house, on several floors in a few days, like his first complex, the Cité Frugès de Pessac, in the inner suburbs of Bordeaux, a city made up of fifty small buildings, built at the rate of about one new building each week.