Le Corbusier (1887 – 1965)




Famous Buildings:

L’Esprit Nouveau Pavilion (Paris)
Villa Savoye (Poissy)
Unité d’Habitation (Marseilles)
L’Esprit Nouveau
Le Corbusier is without doubt the
most influential, most admired, and
most maligned architect of the
twentieth century. Through his
writing and his buildings, he is the
main player in the Modernist story,
his visions of homes and cities as
innovative as they are influential.
Many of his ideas on urban living
became the blueprint for post-war
reconstruction, and the many
failures of his would-be imitators led
to Le Corbusier being blamed for the
problems of western cities in the
1960s and 1970s.
Like Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, and
other architects of his generation, Le
Corbusier had little architectural
training. But he did have a strong
conviction that the twentieth
century would be an age of progress:
an age when engineering and
technological advances, and new
ways of living, would change the
world for good. Only architecture
was failing to embrace the future, as
new buildings continued to ape
various historical styles.
In 1908, Le Corbusier went to work
with Auguste Perret, the French
architect who had pioneered the use
of reinforced concrete, and then
Peter Behrens, the German exponent
of ‘industrial design’. Behrens
admired the engineer’s ethic of mass
production, logical design, and
function over style, and Corbusier
brought two of these early
influences together in his ‘Maison
Dom-Ino’ plan of 1915.
This house would be made of
reinforced concrete and was
intended for mass production, but
was also flexible: none of the walls
were load-bearing and so the
interior could be re-arranged as the
occupant wished.

A House Is A Machine For Living In

By 1918, Corbusier’s ideas on how
architecture should meet the
demands of the machine age led
him to develop, in collaboration with
the artist Amédée Ozenfant, a new
theory: Purism. Purist rules would
lead the architect always to refine
and simplify design, dispensing with
ornamentation. Architecture would
be as efficient as a factory assembly
line. Soon, Le Corbusier was
developing standardised housing
‘types’ like the ‘Immeuble-
villa’ (made real with the Pavilion de
l’Esprit Nouveau of 1925), and the
Maison Citrohan (a play on words
suggesting the building industry
should adopt the methods of the
mass production automobile
industry), which he hoped would
solve the chronic housing problems
of industrialised countries.
His radical ideas were given full
expression in his 1923 book Vers
Une Architecture (“Towards a New
Architecture”), an impassioned
manifesto which is still the best-
selling architecture book of all time.
“A house”, Le Corbusier intoned from
its pages, “is a machine for living in.”
But despite his love of the machine
aesthetic, Le Corbusier was
determined that his architecture
would reintroduce nature into
people’s lives. Victorian cities were
chaotic and dark prisons for many of
their inhabitants. Le Corbusier was
convinced that a rationally planned
city, using the standardised housing
types he had developed, could offer
a healthy, humane alternative.


The first of his grand urban plans
was the Ville Contemporaine of 1922.
This proposed city of three million
would be divided into functional
zones: twenty-four glass towers in
the centre would form the
commercial district, separated from
the industrial and residential
districts by expansive green belts. In
1925, Corbusier’s ambitious Plan
Voisin for Paris envisioned the
destruction of virtually the entire
north bank of the Seine to
incorporate a mini version of the
Ville Contemporaine.
Understandably, it remained only a
More realistic was the Ville Radieuse
(1933-1935), in which long slab
blocks were laid out in parkland and
where the housing types were
considerably cheaper than the
Immeuble-villas which filled earlier
plans. A version of this was built at
the Alton West Estate in
England in 1958.
After the Second World War, with
Europe’s housing problems worse
than ever, Le Corbusier got his
chance to put his urban theories into
practice. The Unité d’Habitation in
Marseilles (1952) is a synthesis of
three decades of Corbusian domestic
and urban thinking. Seventeen
storeys high and designed to house
1,600 people, the Unite incorporates
various types of apartment, shops,
clubs and meeting room, all
connected by raised ‘streets’. There
is also a hotel and recreation
facilities. It is now an immensely
popular building, and a coveted
address for Marseille’s middle-class
professionals today.
When Le Corbusier died in 1965, the
backlash against Modernism was
gaining momentum. His theories on
urban renewal were plagiarised by
local authorities on tight budgets,
which often failed to understand the
essential humanism behind Le
Corbusier’s plans.was
the result. But blaming Le Corbusier
as the architect of post-war housing
failure ignores the deep concern for
human comfort and health that
underpinned his work.

his work—>>https://architectbd.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/famous-buildings-that-you-must-see-19-villa-savoye-2/


Daniel Hudson Burnham(1846-1912)

Daniel H. Burnham was
one of the earliest modern
city planners and, with his
partner, John Wellborn
Root, the architect of the
first American skyscrapers.
At his death in 1912, Frank
Lloyd Wright eulogized,
“(Burnham) was not a
creative architect, but he
was a great man.”

Burnham was a popular
and athletic student who
always regretted failing
his admissions tests for
entering both Harvard and
Yale. After an aborted
attempt at politics out
west, he returned to
Chicago to apprentice as a
draftsman at the
architectural firm of
William Le Baron Jenney.
Soon after, his social skills
from high school served
him well in the firm of
Carter, Drake and Wight
where he befriended a
quiet fellow draftsman,
John Wellborn Root.

After the Great Chicago
Fire of 1871, any architect
who could lift a compass
was conscripted into the
gigantic effort to rebuild
the city. In 1873 Burnham
abruptly left his menial
position to start his own
firm with John Root, a
sharp mechanical mind
with no interest in people
skills. Each personality
seemed to complete the
other, Burnham acting as
the dreamer and political
conduit, Root, the astute
draftsman and physics
whiz. One of their first
commissions was for a
Prairie Avenue house for
John Sherman, a wealthy
industrialist who would
conveniently become
Burnham”s new father-in-

With Sherman’s civic
connections and
Burnham’s charisma,
Burnham and Root quickly
assumed a leading role in
designing houses for
Chicago’s wealthiest
families. Corporate clients
in the Loop, however,
catapulted the firm into a
far more important level
of influence and fame.

Boston brothers Peter and
Shepherd Brooks were
cost driven clients who
disdained expensive
ornament. Burnham and
Root provided them a
stripped-down ten story
office building, “The
Montauk,” that set the
standard for simple
structurally expressive
structures. Five years later,
the same clients financed a
more extravagant
speculative building on
LaSalle Street that became
an instant landmark and
the most important office
building in the Loop.

The Rookery

The Rookery of 1886 was
constructed in a dual
technique using load
bearing exterior walls and
an interior skeleton of cast
and wrought iron. Four
wings surrounded a
central light well with
modern curtain walls of
white glazed brick
horizontally layered with
ribbons of windows. A
glass roof over the
stunning lobby enabled
every part of the building
to receive maximum
sunlight. The simplicity
and efficiency of the plan
was, like all Burnham and
Root collaborations, Daniel
Burnham’s most
important contribution.

Often accused by later
critics of being merely the
politician of the firm, Root
being the REAL architect,
Daniel Burnham was a
planner to his bones.
Where John Root was the
supreme tactician, able to
translate plans and
programs into practical
architectonics, Burnham
was best at strategic
thinking. Solving problems
beautifully is the
fundamental craft of
architecture, and Burnham
solved any problem with
the same supreme
organization skills that
propelled his business into
the front ranks of the
profession. Burnham and
Root became the
establishment firm for
Chicago’s business elite,
designing their offices in
the Loop and their houses
in the suburbs.

After Root’s premature
death from pneumonia in
1891, Burnham planned
the enormous World’s
Columbian Exposition on
Chicago’s south lakefront.
The largest world’s fair to
that date, it celebrated the
400 year anniversary of
Columbus’ voyage to the
new world. In 1909, the
Commercial Club
sponsored the Plan of
Chicago , again headed by
Burnham who donated his
services in hopes of
achieving more of his own
aims. Using some of his
south lakefront plans and
conceptual designs as a
base, he envisioned a new
Chicago as a “Paris on the
Prairie” with French
inspired public works
constructions, fountains
and boulevards radiating
from a central, domed
municipal palace.

Root’s death had altered
Burnham’s aesthetic
compass and he no longer
felt constrained by the
pragmatic utility of
Chicago School
construction. Greece and
Rome became his models
for the world’s newest
empire. He even sent his
sons to Paris’ Ecole des
Beaux-Arts for their
grounding in Classical
technique. The fair had
introduced middle
America to a grandiose
Beaux-Arts “salad” of
colonnades, domes, arches
and vistas. Bankers and
corporate chieftains
wanted just the same
Olympian grandeur for
their new edifices and his
renamed “D.H. Burnham &
Company” was only too
glad to accommodate
their historicist tastes.
Perhaps he was making up
for his lack of a college
education and its classical

Louis Sullivan, considered
the greatest architect of
the Chicago School, never
forgave Burnham for
turning his back on pure
structural expression in
favor of the archaic
classicism of the fair,
calling it alternately
“feudal” and “imperial.”
Feeling that it would “…set
back architecture fifty
years,” he was nearly
proved right as he
watched his own career
collapse after 1900 while
corporate America and
Daniel Burnham turned to
Rome for inspiration. In
his 1924 Autobiography of
an Idea, Sullivan bitterly
wrote: “(Burnham) was a
colossal merchandiser
whose megalomania
concerning the largest, the
tallest, the most costly and
sensational, moved on in
its sure orbit, as he
painfully learned to use
the jargon of big

At his death in 1912, Daniel
Burnham’s company was
the world’s largest
architectural firm and had
become the model for
countless later firms that
utilized global business
techniques instead of the
traditional, near Medieval
methods of earlier
architects. He had become
the head of the American
Institute of Architects and
been named by President
Taft to be Chairman of the
Committee on the Fine

His sons, Hubert and
Daniel Jr., eventually
succeeded him, renaming
the firm “Burnham
Brothers” after completing
the flamboyant Art Deco
“Carbide and Carbon
Building” on Michigan
Avenue. Their Beaux-Arts
training had been
transformed by a new
search for modernity that
veered off into a
streamlined vocabulary by
the 1930s. Burnham’s sons
donated most of the
records and drawings of
their father to the Art
Institute of Chicago,
establishing the Burnham
Library as one of the
preeminent collections of
architectural information
in the world.

Frank Lloyd Wright, in his
1912 eulogy in
Architectural Record ,
wrote: “(Burnham) made
masterful use of the
methods and men of his
time…(as) an enthusiastic
promoter of great
enterprises…his powerful
personality was supreme.”

his work—>>https://architectbd.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/famous-buildings-that-you-must-see-18-flatiron-building/

— Frank Lloyd Wright



What is architecture anyway? Is it
the vast collection of the various
buildings which have been built to
please the varying tastes of the
various lords of mankind? I think
not. No, I know that architecture is
life; or at least it is life itself taking
form and therefore it is the truest
record of life as it was lived in the
world yesterday, as it is lived today
or ever will be lived…So, architecture
I know to be a Great Spirit.
— Frank Lloyd Wright

Born just two years after the end of
the American Civil War, Frank Lloyd
Wright (1867-1959) was witness to
the extraordinary changes that
swept the world from the leisurely
pace of the nineteenth-century horse
and carriage to the remarkable
speed of the twentieth-century
rocket ship. Unlike many of his
contemporaries, who accepted such
changes with reluctance, Wright
welcomed and embraced the social
and technological changes made
possible by the Industrial Revolution
and enthusiastically initiated his
own architectural revolution.
Inspired by the democratic spirit of
America and the opportunities it
afforded, he set out to design
buildings worthy of such a
democracy. Dismissing the
masquerade of imported, historic
European styles most Americans
favored, his goal was to create an
architecture that addressed the
individual physical, social, and
spiritual needs of the modern
American citizen.
To Wright, architecture was not just
about buildings, it was about
nourishing the lives of those
sheltered within them. What were
needed were environments to
inspire and offer repose to the
inhabitants. He called his
architecture “organic” and described
it as that “great living creative spirit
which from generation to
generation, from age to age,
proceeds, persists, creates, according
to the nature of man and his
circumstances as they both change.”
During a lifetime that covered nearly
a century, Wright took full advantage
of the material opportunities
presented by the unprecedented
scientific and technological advances
of the twentieth century without
losing the nineteenth-century
spiritual and romantic values with
which he had grown up. In the
process, he transformed the way we
Wright’s anchor and muse was
Nature, which he spelled with a
capital “N.” This was not the outward
aspect of nature, but the
omnipresent spiritual dimension. He
Using this word Nature…I do not of
course mean that outward aspect
which strikes the eye as a visual
image of a scene strikes the ground
glass of a camera, but that inner
harmony which penetrates the
outward form…and is its
determining character; that quality
in the thing that is its significance
and it’s Life for us,–what Plato called
(with reason, we see, psychological
if not metaphysical) the “eternal idea
of the thing.”
Wright himself grew up close to the
land and in touch with its creative
processes and it gave him constant
inspiration for his architecture. He
believed architecture must stand as
a unified whole, grow from and be a
blessing to the landscape, all parts
relating and contributing to the final
unity, whether furnishings,
plantings, or works of art. To
materially realize such a result, he
created environments of carefully
composed plans and elevations
based on a consistent geometric
grammar, while skillfully
implementing the integration of the
building with the site through the
compatibility of materials, form, and
method of construction. Through
simplification of form, line, and
color, and through the “rhythmic
play of parts, the poise and balance,
the respect the forms pay to the
materials, and the repose these
qualities attain to,” Wright created
plastic, fluent, and coherent spaces
that complement the changing
physical and spiritual lives of the
people who live in them.
In 1991, the American Institute of
Architects named Frank Lloyd Wright
the greatest American architect of all
time and Architectural Record
published a list of the one hundred
most important buildings of the
previous century that included
twelve Wright structures. Twenty-
five Wright projects (including the
recently named Florida Southern
College campus) have been
designated National Historic
Landmarks, and ten have been
named to the tentative World
Heritage Site list. Such recognition—
in addition to the international
honors he received during his
lifetime, the dozens of major
exhibitions that have been mounted,
and the multitude of books and
articles that have been written about
his life and work—confirms Wright’s
critical contribution to architectural
history and the architectural
profession at the same time that we
draw upon the same legacy to find
direction for the future.