Life of a French Swiss Modern Architect Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier 1887 – 1965
Le Corbusier was a Swiss French architect, painter, designer and urbanist inspired by modernism and cubist architecture. He was also an author of several books. He was among the pioneers of modern architecture. Le Corbusier was one of the founders of the Congres International d’Architecture Moderne – CIAM. He designed great architecture projects in Europe, North America, South America, Japan and India. He won AIA Gold Medal in 1961.
Le Corbusier
Early Life & Education
Charles Edouard Jeanneret was born on 6th October, 1887 in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland. His father worked as an artisan. Le Corbusier did not receive any formal education in architecture like mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. He studied applied arts at an art school located in La Chaux de Fonds under architect Rene Chapallaz. Later he attended a decoration course arranged by Swiss architect Charles L’Eplatthenier who was also a painter. Le Corbusier spent time in mountains with his father. He visited Italy in 1907 and then Budapest and Vienna where he met Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. He made a visit to the Florence Charterhouse in Florence that left him a deep inspiration.

Career & Projects
Le Corbusier went to Paris. During 1908 to 1910, he joined the studio of the French architect Auguste Perret who introduced employing reinforced concrete in domestic architecture and designed Theatre des Champs Elysees in Art Deco style. Le Corbusier worked as a draftsperson there.

During 1910, he went to Germany and joined the office of German architect Peter Behrens where Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe were employees. During 1911, he made a trip to Balkan Peninsula with August Klipstein and visited Greece, Rome, Pompeii, Bulgaria, Serbia and Turkey. He designed a residence for his parents in year 1912 in La Chaux de Fonds. The key elements of architecture he used were horizontal planes, white painted walls and lack of ornamentation. During the time of First World War 1914 to 1918, he taught modern theory of architecture at his previous art school located in La Chaux de Fonds.

During 1914, he performed a thorough research together with engineer Max Dubois on the usage of reinforced concrete in construction. He wrote various books such as ‘Vers une architecture’ and Le Voyage d’Orient. He along with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret determined few design principles including roof architecture in his theoretical work ‘Les cinq points de I’architecture modern’ in 1927. The five points included, pilotis; roof terrace; free plan, ribbon window and free façade.
Le Corbusier buildings
Le Corbusier architecture achievements include the Villa Fallet, La Chaux de Fonds, 1905; Maison Blanche, his parents’ house, La Chaux de Fonds, 1912; Villa Favre Jacot, Le Locle, 1912; Villa Jacquemet; Villa Stotzer; Dom-Ino House and Anatole Schwob House, La Chaux de Fonds.

Le Corbusier buildings include Ville Contemporaine community; Esprit Nouveau Pavilion for International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, Paris, 1925; Villa Savoye (Le Corbusier house), Poissy; Maison La Roche or Villa La Roche Jeanneret, Paris; Chandigarh city planning, India; Villa Le Lac Le Corbusier, Switzerland; Chapel Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp and others. Le Corbusier left an impact on the subject of arts and architecture around the globe.

Le Corbusier won AIA Gold Medal in 1961.

Le Corbusier died on 27th August, 1965 in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France at the age of 77.