Arts, Culture & Media

The architecture of Le Corbusier

NW says Le Corbusier remains a controversial figure but his contribution to design and architecture was fundamental: he pioneered a form of geometrical architecture making building facades lively and abstract. Le Corbusier built with shapes that had not previously been considered suitable for architecture. (So if Le Corbusier thought the U.S. was the hope for his future, what happened?) He thought many places were the hope for his future: the Soviet Union, and then France, and then the U.S. (What motivated him to work for some controversial figures and leaders, like Stalin?) Le Corbusier had only one motive: to build. He would build for the greatest number of people under any circumstances whatsoever. He was called a Communist and a Fascist and he toyed with Communism a great deal, but he didn't care about the politics of the people he would work for. He believed every human should have some amount of exercise, and this was obligatory, and that appealed to the fascists a great deal�perfecting the body. (Did he design for the Nazis?) He did design some local income housing in Viscy. There were just primarily plans though, and nothing was built because of war. (After the war, Le Corbusier designed one of his most famous buildings in Marseilles. What makes it so distinctive?) It's amazing to look at, dynamic. From a distance it might look like the world's most colorful laundry hanging out on a line. You just see these vibrant forms which don't necessarily make sense, and in the boldest primary colors. They're standing on legs, but it looks like an entire building is standing on it. There's a child's playground, there are mosaics, a wading pool, and it was his vision to give people a sense of nature. (There was a lot of criticism of the low income architecture in Paris when the riots broke out in 2005. what are you thoughts on that?) When the riots broke out, Le Corbusier's name was invoked all the team for one of the reasons that was making living conditions so difficult for minority groups in France. I can't judge the direct connection between Le Corbusier's work and the buildings in question. He only really designed two apartments in France, but I do think Le Corbusier was a great designer with a terrible influence and I'm thrilled that his last great project was not realized. He was asked to design a large complex of buildings where the Musee D'orsee stands today. If that building had been built, there would be horrible shadows cast over some of the most beautiful streets of Paris. Le Corbusier had a lot of bad ideas and I'm glad some of his designs were rejected.

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