October 1, 2005

Villa Savoye Revisited

Rediscovering Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye

Le Corbusier, the name used by Charles Édouard Jeanneret, is synonymous with modernism. This giant of architecture, who was also a painter and a theorist, set the tone for the modern architecture movement not only with his buildings, but also through furniture designs, and perhaps most importantly with his writings. Born in 1887, Le Corbusier would publish the seminal treatise on architecture of the 1920s, Vers une architecture, known to the English-speaking world more commonly as Towards a New Architecture. This work would detail the elements that would define what we now consider to be classical modernism. The flat roofs (often with gardens), ribbon windows, pilotis (or raised columns), simplified geometric forms and the free-flowing interior plans are all here. Clearly a prodigy, Le Corbusier codified the new rulebook for architecture in 1923 when he was merely 26.