Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris: Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier is a unique name for a popular French architect, urbanist, painter and designer. His full name is Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, a man famous for being one of the early pioneers of modern architecture which is also known as the Bauhaus or the International Style.

Le Corbusier would exert great influence in the development of the Bauhaus movement in architecture that led to a birth of modern high design that is evident in many of the buildings and architectural structures of today.

Early Years

Le Corbusier was born on October 6, 1887 in La Chaux-de-Fonds in north western Switzerland, about five kilometers from the French border. His first instruction in art started when he studied at the La Chaux-de-Fonds Art School under Charles L’Eplatteneir. His first instruction in architecture came from architect Rene Chapallaz who greatly influenced Le Corbusier’s early home designs.

Le Corbusier later on found himself going to Paris in 1907 during his travels around Europe. There, he found work under the office of architect Auguste Perret, who pioneered the use of reinforced concrete. From 1910 to 1911, he worked under renowned architect Peter Behrens somewhere near Berlin. This, along with his travels around Europe, later on influenced many of his later designs.

Le Corbusier also started teaching at his former school in Switzerland during the war. He eventually returned to Paris afterwards and started working on architectural design studies utilizing modern techniques. It was sometime in 1920 that he adopted his now famous pseudonym.

Architectural Ideas

Le Corbusier developed various architectural design ideas during his time that help laid the foundations for the development of the International Style of design. He wrote in his book Vers un architecture about what he described as the 5 Points of Architecture.

The points described the use of free standing support pillars, long horizontal sliding windows, roof gardens, an open floor plan and a vertical facade that is independent of the supports. This became the guiding principles that Le Corbusier adhered to in many of his designs, most notable of which is the Villa Savoye.

Le Corbusier as an urban planner also was the first designers who envisioned residential homes as large apartment buildings with park like settings and with the automobile as the main means of transport before it even became common.

During his lifetime, Le Corbusier designed buildings that can be found in many countries, notably in Europe, Russia and India as well as one building each in the Us and in South America.

Le Corbusier died while swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in France on august 27, 1965. It was believed that he suffered a heart attack at the age of 77 while taking a swim against his doctor’s orders.

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