Jeanneret, Charles-Edouard (Le Corbusier)

Jeanneret, Charles-Edouard (Le Corbusier)
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b. 6 October 1887 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
d. 27 August 1965 Cap Martin, France
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Swiss/French architect.
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The name of Le Corbusier is synonymous with the International style of modern architecture and city planning, one utilizing functionalist designs carried out in twentieth-century materials with modern methods of construction. Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, born in the watch-making town of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Jura mountain region, was the son of a watch engraver and dial painter. In the years before 1918 he travelled widely, studying building in many countries. He learned about the use of reinforced concrete in the studio of Auguste Perret and about industrial construction under Peter Behrens. In 1917 he went to live in Paris and spent the rest of his life in France; in 1920 he adopted the name of Le Corbusier, one derived from that of his ancestors (Le Corbesier), and ten years later became a French citizen.
Le Corbusier's long working life spanned a career divided into three distinct parts. Between 1905 and 1916 he designed a number of simple and increasingly modern houses; the years 1921 to 1940 were ones of research and debate; and the twenty years from 1945 saw the blossoming of his genius. After 1917 Le Corbusier gained a reputation in Paris as an architect of advanced originality. He was particularly interested in low-cost housing and in improving accommodation for the poor. In 1923 he published Vers une architecture, in which he planned estates of mass-produced houses where all extraneous and unnecessary features were stripped away and the houses had flat roofs and plain walls: his concept of "a machine for living in". These white boxes were lifted up on stilts, his pilotis, and double-height living space was provided internally, enclosed by large areas of factory glazing. In 1922 Le Corbusier exhibited a city plan, La Ville contemporaine, in which tall blocks made from steel and concrete were set amongst large areas of parkland, replacing the older concept of city slums with the light and air of modern living. In 1925 he published Urbanisme, further developing his socialist ideals. These constituted a major reform of the industrial-city pattern, but the ideas were not taken up at that time. The Depression years of the 1930s severely curtailed architectural activity in France. Le Corbusier designed houses for the wealthy there, but most of his work prior to 1945 was overseas: his Centrosoyus Administration Building in Moscow (1929–36) and the Ministry of Education Building in Rio de Janeiro (1943) are examples. Immediately after the end of the Second World War Le Corbusier won international fame for his Unité d'habitation theme, the first example of which was built in the boulevard Michelet in Marseille in 1947–52. His answer to the problem of accommodating large numbers of people in a small space at low cost was to construct an immense all-purpose block of pre-cast concrete slabs carried on a row of massive central supports. The Marseille Unité contains 350 apartments in eight double storeys, with a storey for shops half-way up and communal facilities on the roof. In 1950 he published Le Modular, which described a system of measurement based upon the human male figure. From this was derived a relationship of human and mathematical proportions; this concept, together with the extensive use of various forms of concrete, was fundamental to Le Corbusier's later work. In the world-famous and highly personal Pilgrimage Church of Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp (1950–5), Le Corbusier's work was in Expressionist form, a plastic design in massive rough-cast concrete, its interior brilliantly designed and lit. His other equally famous, though less popular, ecclesiastical commission showed a contrasting theme, of "brutalist" concrete construction with uncompromisingly stark, rectangular forms. This is the Dominican Convent of Sainte Marie de la Tourette at Eveux-sur-l'Arbresle near Lyon, begun in 1956. The interior, in particular, is carefully worked out, and the lighting, from both natural and artificial sources, is indirect, angled in many directions to illuminate vistas and planes. All surfaces are carefully sloped, the angles meticulously calculated to give optimum visual effect. The crypt, below the raised choir, is painted in bright colours and lit from ceiling oculi.
One of Le Corbusier's late works, the Convent is a tour de force.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Honorary Doctorate Zurich University 1933. Honorary Member RIBA 1937. Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur 1937. American Institute of Architects Gold Medal 1961. Honorary Degree University of Geneva 1964.
Bibliography
His chief publications, all of which have been numerously reprinted and translated, are: 1923, Vers une architecture.
1935, La Ville radieuse.
1946, Propos d'urbanisme.
1950, Le Modular.
Further Reading
P.Blake, 1963, Le Corbusier: Architecture and Form, Penguin. R.Furneaux-Jordan, 1972, Le Corbusier, Dent.
W.Boesiger, 1970, Le Corbusier, 8 vols, Thames and Hudson.
——1987, Le Corbusier: Architect of the Century, Arts Council of Great Britain.
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Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Jeanneret, Charles Edouard — (10/6/1887 La Choux de Fonds 8/27/1965) (Switzerland); aka Le Corbusier    Architect, urban planner, sculptor, painter, wa tercolorist, and author. One of the major figures of 20th century architecture, he was also a talented painter, who… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

  • Jeanneret, Charles Édouard — VER Le Corbusier …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jeanneret, Charles-Édouard — vero nome di Le Corbusier …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Charles Edouard Jeanneret — Le Corbusier (* 6. Oktober 1887 in La Chaux de Fonds im Schweizer Kanton Neuenburg; † 27. August 1965 in Roquebrune Cap Martin bei Monaco; eigentlich Charles Edouard Jeanneret Gris) war ein französisch schweizerischer Architekt,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Charles-Edouard Jeanneret — Le Corbusier Le Corbusier Portrait de Le Corbusier sur un billet de 10 francs suisses. Naissance 6 octobre 1887 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Charles-Édouard Jeanneret — Le Corbusier Le Corbusier Portrait de Le Corbusier sur un billet de 10 francs suisses. Naissance 6 octobre 1887 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Charles Edouard Jeanneret — noun French architect (born in Switzerland) (1887 1965) • Syn: ↑Le Corbusier • Instance Hypernyms: ↑architect, ↑designer …   Useful english dictionary

  • Corbusier — Le Corbusier (* 6. Oktober 1887 in La Chaux de Fonds im Schweizer Kanton Neuenburg; † 27. August 1965 in Roquebrune Cap Martin bei Monaco; eigentlich Charles Edouard Jeanneret Gris) war ein französisch schweizerischer Architekt,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jeanneret — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Plusieurs personnes portent le patronyme Jeanneret : Charles Édouard Jeanneret, dit Le Corbusier, 1887 1965, architecte, urbaniste, décorateur,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jeanneret-Gris —   [ʒan rɛ gri], Charles Édouard, französischer Architekt, Le Corbusier …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Corbusier — Charles Edouard Jeanneret …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

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