Archive for the 'Le Corbusier' Category


Walter Gropius

Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969) was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.

Walter Gropius, like his father and his great-uncle Martin Gropius before him, became an architect. Gropius could not draw, and was dependent on collaborators and partner-interpreters throughout his career. In school he hired an assistant to complete his homework for him. In 1908 Gropius found employment with the firm of Peter Behrens, one of the first members of the utilitarian school. His fellow employees at this time included Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Dietrich Marcks.

In 1910 Gropius left the firm of Behrens and together with fellow employee Adolf Meyer established a practice in Berlin. Together they share credit for one of the seminal modernist buildings created during this period: the Faguswerk in Alfeld-an-der-Leine, Germany, a shoe last factory. Although Gropius and Meyer only designed the facade, the glass curtain walls of this building demonstrated both the modernist principle that form reflects function and Gropius’s concern with providing healthful conditions for the working class. Other works of this early period include the office and factory building for the Werkbund Exhibition (1914) in Cologne.

In 1913, Gropius published an article about “The Development of Industrial Buildings,” which included about a dozen photographs of factories and grain elevators in North America. A very influential text, this article had a strong influence on other European modernists, including Le Corbusier and Erich Mendelsohn, both of whom reprinted Gropius’s grain elevator pictures between 1920 and 1930.

Gropius’s career was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Called up immediately as a reservist, Gropius served as a sergeant major at the Western front during the war years, and was wounded and almost killed.

Important buildings

Gropius House (1938) in Lincoln, Massachusetts1910–1911 the Fagus Factory, Alfeld an der Leine, Germany
1914 Office and Factory Buildings at the Werkbund Exhibition, 1914, Cologne, Germany
1921 Sommerfeld House, Berlin, Germany designed for Adolf Sommerfeld
1922 competition entry for the Chicago Tribune Tower competition
1925–1932 Bauhaus School and Faculty, Housin, Dessau, Germany
1936 Village College, Impington, Cambridge, England
1937 The Gropius House, Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA
1942–1944 Aluminum City Terrace housing project, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, USA
1949–1950 Harvard Graduate Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (The Architects’ Collaborative)
1945–1959 Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, USA – Master planned 37-acre site and led the design for at least 8 of the approx. 28 buildings.
1957–1960 University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
1963–1966 John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
1948 Peter Thacher Junior High School,
1958–1963 Pan Am Building (now the Metlife Building), New York, with Pietro Belluschi and project architects Emery Roth & Sons
1957 Interbau Apartment blocks, Hansaviertel, Berlin, Germany, with The Architects’ Collaborative and Wils Ebert
1960 Temple Oheb Shalom (Baltimore, Maryland)
1961 The award-winning Wayland High School, Wayland, Massachusetts, USA
1959–1961 Embassy of the United States, Athens, Greece (The Architects’ Collaborative and consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios)
1967– 69 Tower East Shaker Heights, Ohio, this was Gropius’ last major project.
The building in Niederkirchnerstraße, Berlin, known as the Gropius-Haus is named for Gropius’ great-uncle, Martin Gropius, and is not associated with Bauhaus


Richard Meier

Meier was born in Newark, New Jersey. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University in 1957, worked for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill briefly in 1959, and then for Marcel Breuer for three years, prior to starting his own practice in New York in 1963. Identified as one of The New York Five in 1972, his commission of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California catapulted his popularity among the mainstream.

Much of Meier’s work builds on the work of architects of the early to mid-20th century, especially that of Le Corbusier and, in particular, Le Corbusier’s early phase. Meier has built more using Corbusier’s ideas than anyone, including Le Corbusier himself[citation needed]. Meier expanded many ideas evident in Le Corbusier’s work, particularly the Villa Savoye and the Swiss Pavilion.

Getty Center, Los AngelesHis work also reflects the influences of other designers such as Mies Van der Rohe and, in some instances, Frank Lloyd Wright and Luis Barragán (without the colour). White has been used in many architectural landmark buildings throughout history, including cathedrals and the white-washed villages of the Mediterranean region, in Spain, southern Italy and Greece.

In 1984, Meier was awarded the Pritzker Prize, and in 2008, he won the gold medal in architecture from the Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno included in his campaign platform a promise to tear down the big travertine wall of Meier’s Ara Pacis.

Meier is also the second cousin of the architect, theorist, and fellow member of The New York Five, Peter Eisenman.

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
The Atheneum in New Harmony, Indiana, United States.
Museum of Television and Radio, Beverly Hills, California
Ara Pacis Museum, RomeOne Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY, 2003-2008
University of Scranton, Connolly Hall, 2007
Ara Pacis Museum, Rome, Italy, 2006 (There has been talk of dismantling and relocating the museum since the election of Gianni Alemanno in 2008)
The Atheneum, New Harmony, Indiana, 1979
Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain, 1995
Bronx Developmental Center, The Bronx, New York, 1976
Camden Medical Centre, Singapore, 1998
White Plaza, Basel, Switzerland, 1998
City Hall and Central Library, The Hague, The Netherlands, 1995
ECM City Tower, Prague, Czech republic, 2004-2007
Daimler-Benz Forschungszentrum, today: Daimler Forschungszentrum, Ulm, Germany, 1992
Douglas House, Harbor Springs, Michigan, 1973
Edinburgh Park masterplan, 1995
Frieder Burda Museum, Baden Baden, Germany, 2004
Getty Center, Los Angeles, California, 1997
Crystal Cathedral Welcoming Center, Garden Grove, California, 2003[6]
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, 1983
Jubilee Church, Rome, Italy 2003
Weill Hall, Ithaca, New York, 2008
Meier Tower, Tel Aviv, Israel (2008-present)
Modern Art Wing Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, 1984
Museum of Television & Radio, Beverly Hills, California, 1996
Rachofsky House, Dallas, Texas, 1996
Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse, Phoenix, Arizona, 2000
San Jose City Hall, San Jose, California, 2004-2007
Smith House, Darien, Connecticut, 1965-1967
Stadthaus, Ulm, Germany, 1994


Villa Savoye – Le Corbusier

One of Le Corbusier’s most important works, the Villa Savoye is dramatic in its apparent simplicity. It is viewed as the climax as well as the end of his works done in the so-called Purist style. Important stylistic features include facades that are essentially similar, without an obvious traditional front facade; a smooth white (that is “pure”) reinforced concrete surface with continuous horizontal (ribbon) windows in the first floor and without historical ornament; a dark green base and supporting pilotis (slender columns) which raise the building so it appears to be floating; a flat roof with a garden or solarium; an open plan which leads to the interpenetration of inside and outside.

This now iconic building was commissioned by Pierre and Emilie Savoye who owned the land overlooking the Seine. Monsieur Savoye, a wealthy insurance company director, wanted a country home for weekend retreats and entertaining. This home in meadows surrounded by woods was a short car ride from Paris (30 miles from Paris). The size of the house was in part determined by the turning radius of a 1930s limousine. Incorporated into the ground level–the green base–is a three-car garage.

It was subsequently evident that the house was not comfortable so the owners abandoned using it. During World War II German occupying forces lived in it and later Allied troops used it as a barn. It barely escaped demolition and in 1964 was listed as a public building. Since then it has undergone three series of restorations, the most recent in 1996-97. About a half hour by public transportation, Villa Savoye is now a pilgrimage destination for students of architecture.”


I.M. Pei

Ieoh Ming Pei (貝聿銘) (born April 26, 1917), commonly known by his initials I. M. Pei, is a Chinese architect. Although he refuses to apply labels to his own work, he is considered a master of modern architecture. Born in Guangzhou and raised in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Pei drew artistic inspiration at an early age from the gardens at Suzhou. He was fascinated by movies from the United States, especially those of Buster Keaton and Bing Crosby, and taught himself English by reading the Bible and novels by Charles Dickens.

In 1935, Pei moved to the United States and enrolled in the architecture school at the University of Pennsylvania, but quickly transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was unhappy with the focus on Beaux-Arts architecture, and spent his free time researching the emerging masters of modern architecture, especially Le Corbusier. After graduating, he joined the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and became friends with the Bauhaus architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. In 1942, he married Eileen Loo, who had introduced him to the GSD community. They have been married for over fifty years, and have four children (two of whom also became architects).

Pei spent ten years working with New York real estate magnate William Zeckendorf before establishing his own independent design firm. Originally called I. M. Pei & Associates, the firm evolved over many years to its current incarnation as Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Among the early projects on which Pei took the lead were the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC and the Green Building at MIT. He created his first widely recognized signature building when he designed the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. The recognition from this project led to his selection for the John F. Kennedy Library in Massachusetts. He went on to design Dallas City Hall and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art.

He returned to China for the first time in 1974, and agreed to design a hotel at Fragrant Hills. The project became something of a disaster for Pei, but he returned to East Asia again fifteen years later to design a skyscraper in Hong Kong for the Bank of China. In the early 1980s, Pei was the focus of a huge controversy when he designed a glass-and-steel pyramid for the Louvre museum in Paris. Critical and public opinion eventually turned in Pei’s favor, but the experience was difficult for the architects and project coordinators. Pei later returned to the world of the arts by designing the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, the Miho Museum in Japan, and the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.

Pei has won a wide variety of prizes and awards in the field of architecture, including the AIA Gold Medal in 1979, the first Praemium Imperiale for Architecture in 1989, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in 2003. In 1983 he won the Pritzker Prize, sometimes called the Nobel Prize of architecture. In its citation, the jury wrote: “Ieoh Ming Pei has given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms…. His versatility and skill in the use of materials approach the level of poetry.”

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Augueste Perret

Auguste Perret (12 February 1874 – 25 February 1954) was a French architect and a world leader and specialist in reinforced concrete construction. In 2005 his post-WWII reconstruction of Le Havre was declared by UNESCO one of the World Heritage Sites.

He was born in Ixelles, Belgium. He was the brother of the architect Gustave Perret.

He worked on a new interpretation of the neo-classical style. He continued to carry the banner of nineteenth century rationalism after Viollet-le-Duc. His efforts to utilize historical typologies executed in new materials were largely eclipsed by the younger media-savvy architect Le Corbusier, Perret’s one-time employee, and his ilk.

From 1940 Perret taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He won the Royal Gold Medal in 1948 and the AIA Gold Medal in 1952.

Rue Franklin apartments, Paris, 1902-1904
Garage Ponthieu, Paris, 1905
the Art Nouveau landmark Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris, 1913
the Concert Hall of the École Normale de Musique de Paris
concrete cathedral in Le Raincy, France, Église Notre-Dame du Raincy, 1923, with stained-glass work by Marie-Alain Couturier
extensions to the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1945
the City Hall, St. Joseph’s Church and further reconstruction of the French city of Le Havre after more than 80,000 inhabitants of that city were left homeless following World War II, 1949-1956
the Gare d’Amiens, 1955
the villa Aghion, in Alexandria (destroyed 28 August 2009)

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Le Corbusier

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and also painter, who is famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called Modern architecture or the International Style. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in his 30s.

He was a pioneer in studies of modern high design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout central Europe, India, Russia, and one each in North and South America. He was also an urban planner, painter, sculptor, writer, and modern furniture designer.

He was born as Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris in La Chaux-de-Fonds, a small city in Neuchâtel canton in north-western Switzerland, in the Jura mountains, which is just five kilometres across the border from France. He attended a kindergarten that used Fröbelian methods.

Le Corbusier was attracted to the visual arts and studied at the La-Chaux-de-Fonds Art School under Charles L’Eplattenier, who had studied in Budapest and Paris. His architecture teacher in the Art School was the architect René Chapallaz, who had a large influence on Le Corbusier’s earliest houses.

In his early years he would frequently escape the somewhat provincial atmosphere of his hometown by travelling around Europe. About 1907, he travelled to Paris, where he found work in the office of Auguste Perret, the French pioneer of reinforced concrete. In 1908, He studied architecture in Vienna with Josef Hoffmann. Between October 1910 and March 1911, he worked near Berlin for the renowned architect Peter Behrens, where he might have met Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. He became fluent in German. Both of these experiences proved influential in his later career.

Later in 1911, he journeyed to the Balkans and visited Greece and Turkey, filling sketchbooks with renderings of what he saw, including many famous sketches of the Parthenon, whose forms he would later praise in his work Vers une architecture (1923) (Towards A New Architecture).

Major buildings and projects

The Open Hand Monument is one of numerous projects in Chandigarh, India designed by Le Corbusier
National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, Japan
Centre Le Corbusier (Heidi Weber Museum) in Zürich-Seefeld (Zürichhorn)
A governmental building, Chandigarh, India
Villa Savoye1905: Villa Fallet, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
1912: Villa Jeanneret-Perret, La Chaux-de-Fonds [1]
1916: Villa Schwob, La Chaux-de-Fonds
1923: Villa La Roche/Villa Jeanneret, Paris
1924: Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau, Paris (destroyed)
1924: Quartiers Modernes Frugès, Pessac, France
1925: Villa Jeanneret, Paris
1926: Villa Cook, Boulogne-sur-Seine, France
1927: Villas at Weissenhof Estate, Stuttgart, Germany
1928: Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, France View on the map
1929: Armée du Salut, Cité de Refuge, Paris
1930: Pavillon Suisse, Cité Universitaire, Paris
1930: Maison Errazuriz, Chile
1931: Palace of the Soviets, Moscow, USSR (project)
1931: Immeuble Clarté, Geneva, Switzerland View on the map
1933: Tsentrosoyuz, Moscow, USSR
1936: Palace of Ministry of National Education and Public Health, Rio de Janeiro (as a consultant to Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer and others)
1938: The “Cartesian” sky-scraper (project)
1945: Usine Claude et Duval, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France
1947–1952: Unité d’Habitation, Marseille, France View on the map, History of the Prefabricated Home
1948: Curutchet House, La Plata, Argentina
1949–1952: United Nations headquarters, New York City (Consultant)
1950–1954: Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France View on the map
1951: Cabanon de vacances, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
1951: Maisons Jaoul, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
1951: Mill Owners’ Association Building, villa Sarabhai and villa Schodan, Ahmedabad, India
1952: Unité d’Habitation of Nantes-Rezé, Nantes, France View on the map
1952–1959: Buildings in Chandigarh, India
1952: Palace of Justice (Chandigarh)
1952: Museum and Gallery of Art (Chandigarh)
1953: Secretariat Building (Chandigarh)
1953: Governor’s Palace (Chandigarh)
1955: Palace of Assembly (Chandigarh)
1959: Government College of Arts (GCA) and the Chandigarh College of Architecture(CCA) (Chandigarh)
1956: Museum at Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India
1956: Saddam Hussein Gymnasium, Baghdad, Iraq
1957: Unité d’Habitation of Briey en Forêt, France
1957: National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
1957: Maison du Brésil, Cité Universitaire, Paris
1957–1960: Sainte Marie de La Tourette, near Lyon, France (with Iannis Xenakis)
1957: Unité d’Habitation of Berlin-Charlottenburg, Flatowallee 16, Berlin View on the map
1957: Unité d’Habitation of Meaux, France
1958: Philips Pavilion, Brussels, Belgium (with Iannis Xenakis) (destroyed) at the 1958 World Expositon
1961: Center for Electronic Calculus, Olivetti, Milan, Italy
1961: Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
1964–1969: Firminy-Vert
1964: Unité d’Habitation of Firminy, France
1966: Stadium Firminy-Vert
1965: Maison de la culture de Firminy-Vert
1969: Church of Saint-Pierre, Firminy, France (built posthumously and completed under José Oubrerie’s guidance in 2006)
1967: Heidi Weber Museum (Centre Le Corbusier), Zurich


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies (March 27, 1886 – August 17, 1969) was a German-American architect. He was commonly referred to and addressed by his surname, Mies, by his colleagues, students, writers, and others.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, along with Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of Modern architecture. Mies, like many of his post World War I contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. He created an influential 20th century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strived towards an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture. He sought a rational approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design, and is known for his use of the aphorisms “less is more” and “God is in the details”.

List of works
Toronto-Dominion Centre – Office Tower Complex, Toronto
Westmount Square – Office & Residential Tower Complex, Westmount
Nuns’ Island – 3 Residential towers and a filling station (closed), Montreal (c.1969)
Czech Republic
Tugendhat House – Residential Home, Brno
Riehl House – Residential Home, Potsdam (1907)
Peris House – Residential Home, Zehlendorf (1911)
Werner House – Residential Home, Zehlendorf (1913)
Urbig House – Residential Home, Potsdam (1917)
Kempner House – Residential Home, Charlottenburg (1922)
Eichstaedt House – Residential Home, Wannsee (1922)
Feldmann House – Residential Home, Wilmersdorf (1922)
Mosler House – Residential Home, Babelsberg (1926)
Weissenhof Estate – Housing Exhibition coordinated by Mies and with a contribution by him, Stuttgart (1927)
Haus Lange/Haus Ester – Residential Home and an art museum, Krefeld
New National Gallery – Modern Art Museum, Berlin
Bacardi Office Building – Office Building, Mexico City
Barcelona Pavilion – World’s Fair Pavilion, Barcelona
United States
Cullinan Hall – Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Promontory Apartments – Residential Apartment Complex, Chicago
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library – District of Columbia Public Library, Washington, DC
Richard King Mellon Hall of Science – Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA (1968)
IBM Plaza – Office Tower, Chicago
Lake Shore Drive Apartments – Residential Apartment Towers, Chicago
Seagram Building – Office Tower, New York City
Crown Hall – College of Architecture, and other buildings, at the Illinois Institute of Technology
School of Social Services Administration, University of Chicago (1965)
Farnsworth House – Residential Home, Plano, Illinois
Chicago Federal Center
Dirksen Federal Building – Office Tower, Chicago
Kluczynski Federal Building – Office Tower, Chicago
United States Post Office Loop Station – General Post Office, Chicago
One Illinois Center – Office Tower, Chicago
One Charles Center – Office Tower, Baltimore, Maryland
Highfield House Condominium | 4000 North Charles – Condominium Apartments, Baltimore, Maryland
Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments – Residential Apartment Complex, Newark, New Jersey (1959)
Lafayette Park – Residential Apartment Complex, Detroit, Michigan (1963).[3]
Commonwealth Promenade Apartments – Residential Apartment Complex, Chicago (1956)
Caroline Weiss Law Building, Cullinan Hall (1958) and Brown Pavilion (1974) additions, Museum of Fine Art, Houston
American Life Building – Louisville, Kentucky (1973; completed after Mies’s death by Bruno Conterato)

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