Known as the pioneer of Modernist architecture and considered as one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, Le Corbusier designed several iconic buildings across the world- from France to India, to the USA and back. He also drew up various significant urban development plans. Not only buildings but the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier had also created impressive works of art- with sculptures, paintings, drawings, tapestries as well as engravings. Moreover, he also developed timeless furniture icons. Today, here at SURFACES REPORTER (SR), we revisit 10 of the masterpieces of the creative genius, which every architecture enthusiast should know.
Also Read: 10 Amazing facts About Le Corbusier Who Designed Chandigarh- One of India’s First Planned Cities
Villa Savoye, Poissy
Designed in 1931, Villa Savoye is one of the most significant works of Le Corbusier. It has been included in the UNESCO WORLD Heritage List. Moreover, this is the only building in France to have been affirmed a national monument during his lifetime. This is the last building in Le Corbusier’s “white villas” series of private homes. The architect also incorporated his Five Points of architecture while designing this building as he found it essential for modern architecture.
Palace of Justice, Chandigarh
Popularly known now as the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, the Palace of Justice, Chandigarh is one of the most prominent buildings by Le Corbusier in India. Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru invited Corbusier to design the city as an icon of the modern India and he did a terrific job while creating this magnificent building, which showcases a perfect blend of traditions and modernism. Today, this structure has become one of the famous landmarks of the new-age city.
Palace of Assembly, Chandigarh
Yet another splendid building by the noted architect- Le Corbusier- in India. The Palace of Assembly is the third of his major buildings on the capitol at Chandigarh, which is known for its superb combination of art and architecture. It is one of the three concrete buildings (the other two- the Secretariat and the High Court or Palace of Justice) designed by Corbusier to create the Capitol complex in Chandigarh.
Notre Dame du Haut, Romchamp
Known as one of Corbusier’s most iconic designs, Notre Dame du Haut is a small Roman Catholic Chapel in France. This is one of the buildings that has also been added to UNESCO World Heritage List. The work of this building was finished in 1954. This building replaces the old stone building, which was demolished during the second world war. Consisted of thick masonry walls, the curved concrete roof of the building provides structural support and improves stability to the main structure. Although the exterior look of the building seems quite complex, the interior has a simple layout plan.
Mill Owners’ Association Building, Ahmedabad
Surottam Hutheesingh, president of the Mill Owners' Association instructed Le Corbusier to design the organization's headquarters in Ahmedabad. This is one of the four buildings designed by the legendary architect Le Corbusier in Ahmedabad. when you enter the building, you will see a long ramp in front, with slightly slanted concrete deep trellis screens- brise-soleil (sun breakers) composing the east and the west facades of the building. These screens not only block out the harsh sunlight but also allows the proper air circulation.
Pavillon Suisse/ Swiss pavilion
Le Corbusier designed Pavillon Suisse/ Swiss pavilion in collaboration with his partner cousin Pierre Jeanneret. The building was built to house the students at the Cité Internationale Universitaire in Paris. Incorporating the architect’s five points of architecture, the building is elevated on pilotis having a single story and a four-story slab. The pilotis are near to its center, highlighting the ‘floating’ effect. It is also known as “one of Le Corbusier’s freest and most imaginative creations”.
Maison de la Culture · Firminy, France
One of the 17 Le Corbusier buildings added to UNESCO's World Heritage list, the Maison de la Culture is a cultural center as well as a part of the Firminy Vert designed by the architect on a manmade hill in a former stone quarry. The iconic building comprises a tehari, an art room, a music room, a bar, and a dance room amongst other amenities. The building is formed of 16 parts organized over three levels with a separate roof, the concrete building measures 112 meters by 14 meters. It also attributes a disproportionate curve that rises 1.3 meters. The arresting of colourful openings are the main highlight of the building.
Sanskar Kendra Museum
Resembling a simple closed box-like structure elevated from the ground, Sanskar Kendra Museum in Ahmedabad by Le Corbusier is very well architecturally built and designed to protect against the harsh hot climate of India. Dubbed as the Museum of Knowledge, it shows the art, culture, and history of Ahmedabad. The structure has a pool on its roof that can be filled with water on a hot day.
Heidi Weber Museum, Switzerland
Recognized for its brightly colored panels and floating steel roof, this is the last building designed by Le Corbusier designed before his death in 1965. Heidi Weber, a popular interior designer and so-called “great patron” of Le Corbusier assigned the project to him in 1960 to create a small home for him, and a building to accommodate Le Corbusier’s artwork. This masterfully designed building actually stances as a testament to the architect’s genius as an architect, painter, and sculptor.
This church of Saint-Pierre in Firminy, France carries a special significance as it was the last work of the eminent architect and was left unfinished upon his death in 1965. The construction work of this project was completed 41 years after his death in 2006 by French architect Jose Oubrerie, to keep his essence alive. The striking formation of this religious church looks more like a cross between an askew telescope and an alien spacecraft. The interior of this building is equally ethereal, with small, circular windows dotting the all above the platform like a constellation of stars, enabling rays of sunlight into an otherwise dark room.
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