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"Le Corbusier" Tag


An Open Hand


Monday, October 24, 2016

Imagine a

sculpture, 26 meters  red,  yellow ,green metal

reaching into the sky   –    an open hand,

waving with every breeze.

The Hand
click on picture to see more beautiful pictures of Chandigarh
made by Fernanda Antonio for Arch Daily

Corbusier-and-Nehru
left: Le Corbusier right: Jawahal Nehru

an open hand [interview]

open to give and open to receive,

a recurring symbol in the work of Le Corbusier

a sign of peace and reconciliation.

 

The city of Chandigarh was planned to be the capital city of the province of Punjab.
Punjab was left without a capital after India’s decolonization , leading to the partition of East and West Punjab. Lahore, the former capital of Punjab, became part of Pakistan in 1948.
Just three years after leading India to independence, Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s prime-minister, commissioned the planning of a new capital to the architects Mayer and Nowicki.
Nowicki died in a plane crash in 1950 and Le Corbusier was asked to finish the project in 1951.

Being less popular  in Europe and the U.S. at the end of his life Le Corbusier, was hungry to realise his ideas had the ambition to realise them in one last big project: building Chandigarh gave him that opportunity. With the personal blessing of India’s prime-minister Nehru, who called Chandigarh his dream city.
It is important to state that there were already plans for the city of Chandigarh and it is false to believe that Le Corbusier planned the whole city himself, which he did not.

chandigarh-Corbusiers-plan

Chandigarh as planned by Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier’s plan was very similar to the one prepared by Mayer and Nowicki, changing original curved road networks with rectangular ones and grid iron patterns for fast traffic roads. Mayer’s Urban Village became a Sector in Le Corbusier’s plan. The idea was to build a Garden City without high skyscrapers, embodying big ambitions of social living conditions for its citizens. Le Corbusier’s modernist ideas about light, space and greenery were widely incorporated in the plans.

Chandigarh in numbers:
1.000.000 citizens (and growing) : divided over 57 sectors :
each sector is 800m x 1200m (resembling a traditional Indian ‘mohalla’) :
the city has 8 types of roads (these are all labeled)
Every sector has its own public spaces to centralize the daily life of citizens and avoid scattering all over the city..

chd_map

this pictures links to an interactive map of Chandigarh!

V1: arterial roads which connect one city to another

V2: urban, city roads

V3: vehicular road surrounding a sector

V4: shopping street of a sector

V5: distribution road meandering through a sector

V6 residential road

V7: pedestrian path

V8: cycle track

Fietspaden-in-Candigarh

 

the Capitol Complex with the High Court designed by Le Corbusier: a concrete structure with columns of the recurring red, yellow and green, with a structure of rectangles starting from the first floor ending in bigger rectangles (now with air-conditioning in them) bending towards the streets, and after a solid concrete ceiling, a gap held by other pillars to make way for a great concrete roof including a canopy, so if you can stand out of the sun in front of the court

 

SONY DSC High_Court_in_Chandigarh_India

the Capitol Complex with the High Court

The Legislative Assembly is of the same concrete grandeur, but with a big superficial pond around it; it is less high and more rectangle than the High Court, there is a massive canopy held by thin walls with square windows in it, this is the place where the Assembly of Punjab ánd Haryana (a state which separated itself from Punjab in 1966 on a linguistic basis)

 

chandigarh-Assembly

The Palace of Assembly by Benjamin Hosking for Dezeen The picture links to an article and more beautiful pictures of the concrete buildings in sector 1

With merely naming Le Corbusier, I do not do justice to his cousin Pierre Jeanneret who was leading the design of the structure of sector 1 and designed multiple other buildings, like the University:

 

Candigarh_former University_Campus

Former University building designed by Pierre Jeanneret

By designing he perfect city, Le Corbusier’s hand stretches out to touch each individual life ledin Chandigarh. By designing an environment based on smaller sectors, Le Corbusier, Mayer, Nowicki, Piere Jeanneret and Jane Drew understood how overwhelming big cities can be—in that aspect, I think they were ahead of their time. Recent studies show that Chandigarh is the wealthiest city of India and also has the happiest citizens, therefore I think, the life long learning experience formed Le Corbusier and I believe that Chandigarh is one of his masterpieces. Chandigarh certainly earns it’s place on the Unesco World Heritage list, which he obtained this year.

 

poetry-reading

Public listening to poetry at the Open Hand Monument last December picture [links] to the facebook page of a poetry collective

 

When Le Corbusier ideas meats the middle east


Monday, October 24, 2016

Le Corbusier was a well-known architect who designed in many ways, the foundations of architecture and building systems in the way we are observing it today. Le Corbusier was one of the first architects who has developed the way to take advantage of concrete. His modern building designs were inspired by his vision to adapt the architecture to the industrial age. The buildings should “work” as a machine that serves the residents, as he was claiming. He wanted to create utopian structures and  surroundings that would fit the working people and provide them the best quality of  life. He developed a theory of urban planning based on simple, non-decorated, functional design

 

Le Corbusier looking on a scale model of on of his designs. You could definitely see the connection between it and the Brutalists.

Le Corbusier, looking on a scale model made for one of his designs. You could definitely see the connection between it and the Brutalists architecture.

 
Inspired by his ideals, the Brutalist architecture style was developed. The Brutalist architects were broadly active in Germany, UK, France, Italy, Australia, Israel, Yugoslavia, Japan and the US. Mainly at the first half of the 20th century until the seventies. Brutalist design is characterized by the exposed cement and simple functional structure. The structure supposed to represent the essence of a building, therefore the most important elements are the materials, space and form. The name, Brutalists come from Le Corbusier’s expression (French) – Béton Brut, which means raw concrete.

One example of an utopian Brutalist experience is in Be’er Sheva. “The capital of the desert” in Israel. After Israel was established in 1948 the new government encouraged the building up modern, progressive projects. The new developing country had a lot of new migrants coming from all over the world. Their vision was to make all these people feel and act as one united nation. Even though they were coming from such different backgrounds, they were bound to be as one. As more and more newcomers continued coming, there was a constant need of new buildings. That aspect gave the chance to many architects to bring to life very unusual plans.

 
b75b020d-f1bd-4d09-af15-3abf5f0f7fcb Beton Brut
Ben Gurion university : Be'er Sheva • A typical .Béton brut (French) raw and concrete wall texture

 
The leaders on those days believed that they were designing the future society of ideal new kind of people under a socialist narrative. Moreover the architecture was a tool that could represent this ideal society and help shaping it. Therefore they were even dreaming of having a large modern, green, “western” oasis. A city in the desert area, that before that wasn’t as developed or inhabited with many people. To bring the civilization, the great strong structures that represent a progressive, successful society

 

05_pp_bw

Women walking at the fifth neighborhood, Be'er Sheva. After it was recently build

 

One of the most famous projects in the city was designed by Avraham Yaski and Amnon Alecandroni. They were planning a very long building that was part of an utopian neighborhood – a large scaled housing project, called “The Fifth Neighborhood” – in Hebrew “Shouna hei”. This neighborhood was designed as “A Model Neighborhood” and it includes different architectural projects that were supposed to show different kind of modern, progressing attitudes towards the deserts conditions.

The most well known one, that also became as a symbol for Israeli Brutalist building is the Quarter Kilometer Long Building . This project was completed in the 1960s. It used to be considered as the longest block in the Middle East. The Idea was to build such a long building that will block the wind and the dust, then in the surrounding of it they were building up lower houses that enjoyed from protection of the larger structure. Inspired by Le Corbusier the first level is only pilots and is being used as an open space. The building is very geometrical and simple and there are any windows that have a wide conceit frame to differed it from the strong sun shine.

Back then, they were really dreaming about having great life quality, adjusted to the weather conditions. The creators of this building, neighborhood and city believed that they could subjugate the natural conditions of the place if they would just build in the right way. If it would be big enough, massive enough – the desert will surrender to the architecture. They were planning this buildings to be designed and built in high quality  standards, for medium class residence. Eventually when utopia meets reality different things happen. Despite the innovative design, this building “has become an urban legend bleak, a magnet  for problems and crime.” Avraham Yaski, the leading architect “of the project referred to it as a “conscious tryout that completely failed”

 

he quarter-kilometer block

The quarter-kilometer block, today.

Be'er Sheva, Israel

The longest block in the middle east. 1960. Be'er Sheva.

Today many people criticize the Brutalist style, claiming that the exposed cement, the rough structures and the simple geometric shapes looks massive, neglected, aggressive, ugly and represent the way the regime was trying to force this unreal utopia version. Building in the same way they where trying to led the people as one machine that needs to serve a certain kind of a national dream.
While wondering about that I find my self split between a respectful, even amazed feeling towards those architects that dared to dream and to try something that was so revolutionary at the time and the feeling that this vision of great wide buildings with European meadow in the desert is so alienated and disconnected from the traditional way of surviving in this landscape
I think that this contradiction represent a very familiar complexity that exists in the Israeli society still today. The contradiction between the utopian vision of being part of the European culture (in that case architecture and urban design) and the fact that the country is based in the middle east, that lots of the civilians are coming from middle eastern, north African countries and that it is surrounded with very reach culture that makes it impossible to fully deny those other influences that pops up and stand against that utopian vision. In a way the quarter kilometer block is a living example for that complexity

 

A cover of the book: Avraham Yasky, Concrete Architecture. A monograph on Yasky's work by Sharon Rotbard

A cover of the book: Avraham Yasky, Concrete Architecture. A monograph on Yasky's work by Sharon Rotbard

 

Curves


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Golden_Ratio_4

curved_archtecture_redu

Capture d’écran 2014-06-04 à 14.38.24

 

If I tell you architecture, you’ll tell me SQUARE

If I tell you nature, you’ll tell me ROUND

We obviously link architecture to geometry, structure, squares, etc… and nature to organic features and therefore curves and irregularity.

Therefore what is interesting is the notion of curve in architecture.

We started seing curving architectures at the same time as the introduction of movement in art (cubism, kinetic art, futurism, chrono-photography, mobiles, etc….)

Beyond the fact that it’s aesthetically seducing, and beyond the fact that it is bringing movement, curves are attracting more attention from your brain.

Psychologist Oshin Vartanian made researches on what was going on in people’s brains as they viewed two rooms — one with rounded features, the other more rectangular. First of all, the ones that were confronted to the curvy one were more likely to define it as “beautiful”. They also displayed more activity in a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex that, among other functions, is linked to the brain’s ability to regulate and process emotions.

Curved buildings can point to nature, whereas angular buildings contrast with it. Straight lines and angular shapes are disconnecting a building from nature, and humans natural state. It is reducing everything into a harsh and boxy aspect, which we naturally don’t identify in so much.

I observe (on a very personal level) that in the end my attraction goes to buildings balancing the angle and the curve. The final reconciliation between “organic” and “organized”. People like Frank Gehry, Herzog et de Meuron, Oscar Niemeyer, Zaha Hadid, Rudi Ricciotti and many others are/have been working on it and succeeded quite well so far, to bring new rules and esthetics to modern architecture, inspired from the so called international style and reconciled with more organic references, as well with new materials that are more environmental friendly.

I am starting for this occasion a tumblr “Curves” where I will be developing this idea through posts and references, grasping a lot of elements orbiting around this, and that is starting from this thesis that I invite you to read on Orthogonal Allegory in Architecture by Anton Stuckhardt [graduation essay [x].

 

Orthogonal Allegory – the reality of architectural plan drawing


Friday, July 26, 2013

In this essay not only does the plan delineate (describes) the basic ‘syntax’ of a building, but it also creates a reality on its own; through allography the plan creates an allegory. This thesis won the 2013 Rietveld Thesis award

 

The floorplan takes a peculiar position in architectural creation. As a notational device, it translates the conception of a built space to a graphical code. The form of an orthogonal projection of a building abolishes the illusion of space, it excludes exactly the elements that are elementary to architectural expression, “light and shade, walls and space.” Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture.
Scan 2
John Hejduk Still Life Museum / Museum for still lifes, could it be possible for the architect to take the natura morta of a painting and by a single transformation build it into a still life?

First and foremost architectural plans are a tool for instruction and documentation of a building process, but the graphic compression of a spatial idea creates a reality on its own. The plan equally takes part in other disciplines, painting, literature (think of Alain Robbe Grillets Jealousy), as it does in architecture.

chamberworks III-H
Daniel Libeskind, Drawing from the series Chamberworks, 1983, Chamberworks, carries in its title the notational character of the drawings, the form of their conception of space.

 

The planar form of representation is able to develop architectural problems independent from the construction process. It writes a text, different from that of the building, though in an indexical relation they contain each other. The factual information given by the plan creates a metaphor of the building through decisions made in its form of graphical notation, the format of drawing enables architecture to incorporate and appropriate parts of other disciplines, literature, philosophy, painting. The foundations of casual literacy are different from those of architectural, spatial literacy. In John Hejduk’s Architecs wheel the history of literature stands of the same level of elemental necessity, as that of construction materials, forms of depiction and building elements. Still, a plan is bound to an indexical relation towards reality, but it narrates a different story about the building it depicts, just as the story of the building differs from that of the plan. In its abstraction, the plan creates a Sinnbild (symbol), ideograph, allegory of the building.

DP109642
Man Ray, Dust breeding, 1920, Duchamps 'Large Glass' metaphorically turns it into a huge landscape, a pictorial setting.

 

The text formed from a logic of graphical signifiers, line, plane colour, typography, delineates what a building is about it a two-fold way: Syntactical, as the composition of spaces, and theoretical, as the Weltanschauung (philosophy of life), a complex synthesis of philosophical, religious, social beliefs. In that sense, the architects wheel is an archetypical plan, containing Hejduks complete vocabulary, a model for his architecture, for the narrative of basic shape, rather than a concrete building. Every plan evokes the world in which that building exists, the possibility of a space, just like every lie creates the world in which it is true. The plan formulates principles of grammar, methods of thinking and working, it integrates tectonic space and form and human experiences and conditions that comprise our existence and thus it is essentially philosophic.

dubai_masterplan2
Dubai Masterplan, “It was the precision of my memory which enabled me to demystify the imaginary quality of the dream: surreal and real became interchangeable metaphors.” Raimund Abraham, the architects dream, 1983

text by Anton Stuckardt [graduate student department of Graphic Design]

 

from the jury rapport: In ‘Orthogonal Allegories, the reality of architectural plan drawing’ Anton Stuckardt has tackled the difficult subject of how the three-dimensional form is two-dimensionally represented. Still Anton manages to make the subject understandable in a very intelligent way and the thesis shows that he is a sharp thinker. The jury also found it to Anton’s advantage that he took his own interest in architecture, and connected this to the field of graphic design. Overall the thesis was compact, powerful and well written with good illustrations.

 

Pdf-icon Download this thesis:

Orthogonal Alegory – the reality of architectural plan drawing.

 

Adolf Loos Versus:


Thursday, October 15, 2009

A lot of “rules” were written for architecture. Not always have they been followed up and also a lot of times they have been discussed by other “writers (philosophers)” / architects.

Adolf Loos was one of these architects who were more philosopher than architect. Even though the whole world listened to what he had to say, his rules were not followed by everyone and not as strict as he had hoped for. This is due to the fact that there were more of these men that had their ideas about architecture. Besides the Ornament & Crime essay there were serveral others like the “Raumplan”, “the Plan Libre” and peoples individual ideas.

Today we don’t design according to a “manual” written by one architect. There are thousands of manuals that inspire us. It’s about what we want ourselves.

on_”Ornament_&_Crime”

G group’s research subjects


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Poeme2_web_final 0708g-brasilia-redu

Based on the general theme “Le Corbusier and Other Stories” we investigated a variety of subjects related to the content presented at this summers Corbusier Art and Architecture exhibit at NAi, Rotterdam. Research material was edited down to A4 sized guided tours/portals into these subject matters. All subjects presented in this list were available as hard copy prints at the Research Folder Archive at the library of the academy from November 2007 until January 2013 at which date we decided to have them only available as part of the online Designblog archive:

Primitivism, Le Poème de l’Angle Droit, Corbusier’s Christmas Gift, La Chapel de Notre Dame, Amedee Ozenfant, Corbusier in Istanbul, Varese’s Poème Electronique, The Candigarth Project, Modular, Language of Organic Form, Corbusier and Politics, The Bric, Ferdinand Léger, The Brasilia Project, Sandberg’s Experimenta Typografica 11, Koolhaas/Lagos, Nature Design Zurich, Constant’s New Babylon, Rietveld’s Academies, The Chaisse Longue

Le Corbusier & Other Stories


Thursday, November 1, 2007

On September 1, before the program of the Foundation year even started, G-group visited the exhibition “Le Corbusier Art and Architecture” on it’s last

exhibition day. le_corbusier_tent

Corbusier_Istanbul_1911

right > Corbusier in Istambul 1911

0708g-corbusier-istanbul

It was the beginning of a journey with Corbusier which showed us that art, design and nature are permanently interconnected. The Lecture on Le Corbusier’s sources of inspiration and his journey to the balkan and Istanbul (by Carla Boomkens) prepared us for the yearly FoundationYear’s International trip to the “Bienalle of Istanbul”.
We found out that the richness of Corbusier’s oeuvre, connected us to many classic and contemporary subjects from Primitivism and the “Foundations of Modern Art” to the “Nature Design“in Zürich fall 2007

 


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